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Reblogged:New Convenience Masks Old Grip on Power

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The title proclaims "Oregon Finally Legalizes Pumping Your Own Gas After 72 Years."

If I lived in Oregon, I would cheer the end to the inconvenience and annoyance of having to go through someone else just to fill my gas tank. Nevertheless this measure would fail to get the proverbial three cheers from me.

Another day, another frog telling me the water's fine. (Image by Holger Gröschl, via Wikimedia Commons, license.)
House Bill 2426 as proposed would require gas stations to staff half of the available pumps, but allows the other half to be self-service.


Oregon's bill crucially prevents stations from charging more for a full-service pump than a self-service, which will effectively eliminate full-service pumps... [bold added]
In other words, the trappings of greater convenience are deceptive. Gas station owners are still being told how to staff their stations and their customers will still bear the costs of filling jobs nobody needs done or wants to do.

More to the point, Americans are sitting down and taking it while self-important blowhards are telling them what to do.

I suppose we can credit the numbskulls in charge for realizing that the "safety" excuse for having gas station attendants has started to ring hollow after 72 years. But they much more deserve approbation: Nearly 250 years after our nation's founding, Oregon has yet to recognize the right to contract between people who want to sell something, and those who want to buy it.

This is wrong, I don't care how minor the cost or inconvenience. And I find this incredible, and yet most people would look at me like I had a horn growing out of head if I brought it up in a normal conversation.

-- CAV

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