time zone afp getty

The logic of Steve Hanke and Dick Henry's proposal is strikingly simple: wherever you are, the time is the same.

Last Summer, North Korea did something a little odd. On the 70th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese occupation, the closed and authoritarian state announced it was permanently turning its clocks back half an hour. The country was creating its own time zone: Pyongyang time.

As a plan, it didn't make a lot of sense. Many, understandably, interpreted it as just another example of Pyongyang's characteristically illogical policy logic. Yet Pyongyang time also highlighted something else. All around the world, time zones make little sense. Russia currently has 11 time zones, while China just has one. Spanish people are said to be constantly tired because they are in the wrong time zone. Nepal is –inexplicably – the only country in the world to have a time zone that is set to 15 minutes past the hour.

Looking over this chaotic landscape, it's reasonable to ask: Are time zones inherently flawed? That's what Steve Hanke and Dick Henry think.

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