Friday, March 21, 2008

The U.S. Hour

#375 U.S. Time

The United States Hour is down against the Eurohour. This must be stopped. Spend an hour there and it's longer than an hour here. How have we let that happen.

The once might U.S. Hour has lost value to the relative newcomer. And it doesn't matter which zone you choose. (We've always been slower than GMT, so the British Hour doesn't really count. But the Eurohour?)

It's harder to measure this comparison than it is, say, the dollar. But it's humiliating. And not one of the Presidential candidates has addressed this critical issue.

Think about it. Let's say your company gives you a temporary overseas assignment. Maybe in -- oh -- Germany. What takes you an hour in Chicago will take you 1:20 in Berlin. This is not fair.

If you're paid by the hour, you earn one hour's pay in one hour in Seattle. In Paris, you have to work 70 minutes for the same pay.

You can accomplish much more here. The hour is definitely faster in Hackensack than it is in the Hague.

We need to grab this bull by the horns before things get completely out of hand. Because it's not just Europe. It's Japan, too. Used to be, a U.S. Hour had 100 Japanese minutes. Now it's down to 96. I tell you, they're coming at us from every angle. (It's probably happening in Russia and China, too. But no one can figure out how they tell time. Not even them.

The first thing we have to do is get the President up there to make a speechification. He has to tell the world that he favors a strong U.S. Hour. He has to let the rest of the world that we will not allow foreign speculators to devalue our time.

And you can help. Got one of those fancy watches with no numbers on the dial? Paint on the numbers. Got some of those fake Dali prints you bought from a slippery character in a hotel room? Burn 'em.

That's only symbolic, but every little act will help.

Now, how did all this happen in the first place? Well, it's White House policy, for one thing. Somehow it's supposed to help our balance of trade. But it doesn't.

There may come a time when we have to completely re-value our time. And that's going to put your watch and your paycheck out of date. And not just the watches without the numbers -- or the hours you spend as a guest worker at your company's headquarters in Naples. We have to guard against this. After all, we're the world's last remaining super power. How does it look when time here isn't as valuable as it is in some third world backwater? How does it look when our time isn't as valuable as that in some seedy old world capitol? Stand up for your time zone, America!

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®

©WJR 2008

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How does the gold timepiece I was supposed to get at retirement figure into this?

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