Readers of my blog may already know, as I have posted on this previously, but there are few things things that get under my skin as much as the prohibition on self-service gas in Oregon.
I find the arguments supporting the prohibition wanting:
Consumer safety? I don't believe that there is a rash of fires, explosions and injuries in the other 48 states that allow self-service gas.
Mothers with babies? (Why is it always mothers, what about us dads?) First, the many times when I was living in Colorado, schlepping babies and getting gas, I never once had a problem. Second, you could still mandate at least one full-service pump, though I think demand will be so weak that this will end up being mostly unused - which is why you rarely see full-service anymore in the self-service states.
Important for employment? You have got to be kidding, right? Oh, no? OK, well you can still tell gas stations they have to employ so many people per pump, etc. Sound absurd? It is! And no different than the prohibition on self-service gas. Why not tell all retail outlets that they have to employ a minimum number of people and eliminate all unemployment in Oregon?! Why did anyone think of that? Because doing so with either force wages down or (especially with a high minimum wage) eliminate some employers altogether likely lowering overall employment.
I am sure most of you are much more level headed than I about this issue, and perhaps I have it all wrong and this, in fact, is a precious quirk of Oregon that you all cherish. State Rep for Corvallis Sara Gelser seemed to think so when I asked her to please introduce legislation to change the law (she refused saying something crazy about mental health care and child welfare being more important - what is more important than letting me pump my own gas?).
So let me know what you think - vote!