If the Feds Managed Time Like They Manage Money

By Mike Johnson

So we just got to enjoy the benefits of an extra hour of time. Setting the clock back to gain a 25-hour day is a fall ritual that must be repaid with a 23-hour day each spring. We borrow the hour now and pay it back in 6 months. A nice, balanced system.

But what if the federal government realized that voters like that extra hour? What if they realize that creating time out of thin air is easier and even more valuable than creating money out of thin air? What if the Feds started managing time like they manage money?

Adding an extra hour to our days is easy for the government to grant. An hour here, an hour there, free of charge. The voters love it! But it's a slippery slope. Soon we get used to that extra hour and start to demand it every day. Soon the AARP is writing Congress demanding that extra hour to extend the life spans of its members. Hollywood celebrities demand the clock be turned back every day to stay younger. Retailers insist the clock be turned back to extend the Christmas shopping season.

The Feds wonder if it is fair to give everyone the exact same portion of the extra time. Should the extra time be distributed by need or by the ability to spend it wisely?

The Democrats want to take the hour from the rich and give it to the poor because the poor need more time to earn more money. Republicans want to give the hour to those who are more productive as an incentive to all -- the more one accomplishes, the more time one earns. Libertarians demand that the clock be left alone because the constitution does not give Feds the authority to mess with time.

But the Democrats are the majority so the poor get the extra hour and as a side benefit, everyone in Congress starts earning their pensions sooner. The rich have less time to expand their businesses so the poor get laid off, the Republicans get ticked off and the Libertarians say "We told you so."

The Feds are surprised when spring arrives and so much extra time has been given away that it would take losing a full WEEK to even up the clock. Citizens won't stand for "Fall back an hour, Spring forward a Week," so Congress defers the reckoning. Let it ride, they say. Deficit time-keeping is good for the economy.

But soon an hour a day isn't enough. People start demanding "Weekend Savings Time" where Mondays are automatically reset to Sundays. Weekends are longer and work weeks are shorter. The Fed complies because the voters demand it and the Fed is nothing if not good at pandering to voters. Leave all those deficit Mondays and deficit hours to the next administration to worry about.

Then someone realizes that China is time-starved on work weeks and would be happy to take our Mondays in exchange for goods they produce on the extra work day. Why work on Mondays when we can trade them for goods someone else makes for us? These transactions are handled quietly, privately and so painlessly that they continue for years. Over the years we buy so many goods that we now owe China our Saturdays and Sundays too.

That leaves us with just Tuesdays through Fridays and Congress deems Fridays the new "weekend" because Americans won't work four days a week with no time off.

But thankfully the Mexicans will do the time that Americans won't do so we stop enforcing the immigration rules and let the Mexicans have Tuesday through Thursday. They are happy to get the workdays and we are happy to let them have them.

So Americans are now left with one day in the week, Perpetual Friday, which is now a non-work weekend.

China now owns all our Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. Mexico owns all our Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. And America isn't producing anything because it only has Perpetual Fridays, America's day off.

We soon discover we can't survive without producing anything ourselves so we start trading a few hours on Fridays for the food that keeps us alive. We start by trading the overnight hours when everyone sleeps. But soon that is not enough and we trade the 6am to noon time block. Then the noon to 6 pm time period. Bit by bit, our days get shorter, ever shorter, until finally the clock strikes midnight and we realize the moral of this story.

America can't live on borrowed time forever.

Mike Johnson is a writer & entrepreneur who publishes the daily news aggregating website EverythingCody.com . He can also be reached at MikeJohnson.biz .