Economists Steve Hanke and Richard Conn Henry propose a new calendar for our Changing Times; not only a new calendar but a universal time,
We propose a new calendar that preserves the Sabbath, with no exceptions. That calendar is simple, religiously unobjectionable, business-friendly and identical year-to-year. There are, just as in Eastman’s calendar, 364 days in each year. But, every five or six years (specifically, in the years 2015, 2020, 2026, 2032, 2037, 2043, 2048, 2054, 2060, 2065, 2071, 2076, 2082, 2088, 2093, 2099, 2105, …, which have been chosen mathematically to minimize the new calendar’s drift with respect to the seasons), one extra full week (seven days, so that the Sabbath is unaffected) is inserted, at the end of the year. These extra seven days bring the calendar back into full synchrony with the seasons. In place of Eastman’s 13 months of 28 days, we prefer 4 identical quarters, each having two months of 30 days and a third month of 31 days (see the accompanying permanent calendar**).
That modern calendar would simplify financial calculations and eliminate the “rip-off factor.” To determine how much interest accrues for a wide variety of instruments – bonds, mortgages, swaps, forward rate agreements, etc. – day counts are required. The current calendar contains complexities and anomalies that create day count problems. In consequence, a wide range of conventions have evolved in an attempt to simplify interest calculations. For U.S. government bonds, the interest earned between two dates is based on the ratio of the actual number of days elapsed to the actual number of days between the interest payments (actual/actual). For convenience, U.S. corporates, municipals and many agency bonds employ the 30/360 day count convention. These different conventions create their own complications, inefficiencies and arbitrage opportunities. Specifically, discrepancies between the actual/actual and 30/360 day count conventions occur with all months that do not have exactly 30 days. The best example comes from calculating accrued interest between February 28th and March 1st in a non-leap year. A corporate bond accrues three days of interest, while a government bond accrues interest for only one day. The proposed permanent calendar—with a predictable 91-day quarterly pattern of two months of 30 days and a third month of 31 days—eliminates the need for artificial day count conventions.
What will it take to produce regular dates and times throughout Russia and the rest of the world? Nothing but the will to do so. With regard to the regularization of times and dates, Russia has the most to gain, particularly when it comes to time.
Moving on from the calendar to time, we recommend the abolition of all time zones, as well as of daylight savings time, and the adoption of atomic time—in particular, Greenwich Mean Time, or Universal Time, as it is called today. Like the adoption of a modern calendar, the embrace of Universal Time would be beneficial.
The calendar would have every month with 30 days, except for March, June, September and December with 31 (a quarterly extra day); an extra week at the end of December on the following years:
2015, 2020, 2026, 2032, 2037, 2043, 2048, 2054, 2060, 2065, 2071, 2076, 2082, 2088, 2093, 2099, 2105, 2111, 2116, 2122, 2128, 2133, 2139, 2144, 2150, 2156, 2161, 2167, etc.
When I mentioned to Steve that I wasn’t sure if I was ready for 2 more days in February, he quipped, “The extra week is key: a sort of “adult spring break” — with pay.”
The savings from the new calendar will more than make up for that week.
Linked by Dustbury. Thanks!