Tuesday, December 11, 2007

After Setback, Chávez Makes the Clocks Fall Behind

CARACAS (NY Times) -- When all else fails, change your country's time by a half-hour and create a new time zone.


At 12/11/2007 7:56 AM, Blogger Ironman said...

Interesting move on Hugo Chavez' part. The rationale provided is, of course, completely ridiculous:

"Senior officials here recently confirmed that clocks would be turned back 30 minutes, arguing that exposing citizens to more sunlight would improve their metabolism."

What we know about changing the time from going onto daylight savings time suggests some more intriguing possibilities. First, it can save energy, which is something a government might choose to do if they expect that they might have a recurring problem supplying the demand for it.

Second, and more importantly, it promotes economic activity, as people are more likely to be out shopping when its light outside. The more available daylight to encourage this behavior, the better. (See Congressional Finding #4 in Section 260a reproduced here.)

Overall, the action suggests some economic weakness in Venezuela - look for price-controlled goods (especially basic foodstuffs) to become even more scarce as Venezuelans will now have more daylight hours to search for them.

As for the "improved metabolism" claim - wouldn't that be a convenient explanation for Venezuelans losing weight en masse?

At 12/11/2007 8:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps, we should send Mr. Chavez a little missive to congratulate him on having something in common with George W.

At least, no one will ever be bored living in Venezuela.


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