Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Self service gas in NJ?

I've wondered why there were no self-service gas in NJ. I always thought it had something to do with unions but it turns out it is because of a law passed in 1949. The status-quo is to keep full service -- people seem to like it (and it protects the jobs of gas station attendants). I find it incovenient. I think the lines would move a lot faster if there were self service. When there is a line, there is no incentive for the attendant to work any faster. Of course, if a station is empty it doesn't really bother me although I think it's funny. With the new self serve technology, instead of me sticking my credit card into the pump, the gas attendant does it for me. It reminds me of Keynesian economics -- digging holes and then filling it up again just to generate jobs. Unlike some, I'm not sure how low gasoline prices will be with self serve.

Some references here:
1. I Want to Pump Myself Up
2. N.J. just says no to pumping gas
3. NJ rejects self-service gas

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