I don’t want to pick on the Spokesman-Review since this is a pretty wide spread phenomenon. Still, their Spin Control blog has a piece about bills that are getting a hearing that are “first world problems.” I’m not sure they’re either first world issues in general or, for that matter, problems.
For example: How many tasting rooms should Washington wineries have? Current law says two, a proposal before a Senate committee last week said that should be four, to better extol the goodness of the state’s fruit of the vine. Why four, asked Sen. Steve Conway, D-Tacoma. Well, Oregon wineries get three, he was told.
Expanding the number of tasting rooms seems like something they could do in a country in Sub-Saharan Africa, for instance. I’m not much of a wine drinker, but I just Googled “African wine” and the first hit was a pretty interesting Wikipedia article on South African wines. Seems like a long history, and something ripe for tasting rooms.
I’m also not sure how having 2 or expanding it to 4 is a problem. It seems like we’re having success with the tasting rooms we have and want to expand. Is it a problem because, 4 is still pretty small for the state? I honestly don’t know!
Or a bill recognizing the fourth Saturday in July the National Day of the Cowboy, which another Senate committee took up. The hearing revealed – maybe you knew; I sure didn’t – that cowboy is gender neutral and refers to both male and female cow-persons. Both deserve recognition because of their legendary integrity, said supporters, who brought honorary headgear for Government Operations Committee Chairwoman Pam Roach, R-Auburn.
Look, if there’s one thing we can agree about the first-world, it’s that we are the exclusive domain of people who recognize agricultural workers. Also, it seems like not a problem. It seems like kind of a neat thing to celebrate. Were they not getting celebrated before? I still don’t see a problem.
The House State Government Committee took up an issue that annoys a sizable chunk of us two days a year, the switch between Standard and Daylight Savings time. There’s a bill to keep the state on Standard time year-round, and a resolution aimed at keeping us on Savings Time.
Rep. Elizabeth Scott, R-Monroe, offered perhaps the quintessential First World Problems defense of her Standard Time bill, albeit with a smile: “It’s still a hassle to change all the clocks. . . It’s a hassle for pet owners whose pets wake them up an hour early. I hear that milk cows are particularly annoyed.”
This is the closest in that it mostly involves actual first world stuff, is stuff, kinda. And technically identifies a problem: I was kind of surprised, but if you look at the map of countries that use daylight savings, it’s primarily Europe and North America. But there are plenty of Middle Eastern, African, and South American countries that use it.
Also, I don’t think it’s a problem. We get somewhat more sun, but it doesn’t work for everyone, depending on your job and your temperament. Also, in the age before all your clocks automatically changed, it was slightly annoying to have to remember, I hear. It seems like on balance, it does more good than bad. Maybe we should only spring forward, and every year, we’ll move an hour ahead of everyone else.
In conclusion, they have clocks in Uruguay and Namibia.