Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Markets NOT in Everything: No Gas from 11pm-7 am


"In 48 states, customers are allowed to pump their own gasoline. In 48 states, filling station attendants no longer exist as a profession. Labor costs are lower. These savings are passed on to customers in the form of lower gasoline prices.

In Oregon, any convenience store that sells gasoline must hire a gasoline attendant. So, there are fewer convenience stores acting as sellers of gasoline. This law restricts entry into the field.

Because there are few customers from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., it is unprofitable for stations to hire full-time attendants. The solution is to close the stations. When the stations are closed, the manager turns off the pumps. No one can buy gasoline at the station."


11 Comments:

At 10/19/2011 4:12 PM, Blogger Paul said...

It's totally absurd here. And it's a great example of how once enacted, regulations/stupid laws are really hard to get rid of. I believe the law was originally passed to protect us from ourselves. Apparently, we cannot be trusted to fill our own cars/trucks with gas unlike residents of other states.

Though there have been attempts to repeal this law, they universally fail because a completely different argument is used to defend it today: what about jobs? It's very unpopular politically to say that we should just get rid of this useless job of pumping someone else's gas...

 
At 10/19/2011 4:55 PM, Blogger Cabodog said...

As an Oregonian, I can say it's a totally ridiculous situation here.

However, in the dead of winter, it sure is nice to NOT have to exit the car and do the self-serve routine.

Would be nice if it were optional however, vs. mandatory.

 
At 10/19/2011 5:56 PM, Blogger Craig said...

However, in the dead of winter, it sure is nice to NOT have to exit the car and do the self-serve routine.

Yes, it is. I've found that even in the wilds of upstate New York, though, there are some stations who will still pump your gas. I patronize them when it's cold or raining -- or I'm just feeling lazy. The choice is nice and isn't it ironic it's one we still have in of all places, New York State.

 
At 10/19/2011 8:04 PM, Blogger Trey said...

We took a family trip to Oregon a few years back. I didn't know about the law. I got out of the car and started reaching for my wallet -- that's about as far as I got. The attendant was reasonably nice when informing me, but I couldn't help but think that this was a throwback to the 50s.

 
At 10/19/2011 11:46 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Yeah, but there are 50 states. The article says in 48 states you can pump your own gasoline, but in Oregon you can't.

Leaving one state where only an disinterested third-party can pump gas?

 
At 10/20/2011 8:46 AM, Blogger Rich B said...

That would be my home state - NJ.

 
At 10/20/2011 11:47 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

While I usually lament the loss of such jobs as this, as it was one that young people and others with absolutely no other skills could do, I have to wonder what possible justification there is for mandating that the job exist.

Are gas pumpers unionized in OR and NJ?

Just askin'.

 
At 10/20/2011 5:55 PM, Blogger Andy said...

I was visiting Oregon not knowing of this law, and started pumping my own gas. Suddenly an attendant ran out from somewhere inside the building yelling at me to stop.

It reminded me of Russia...

 
At 10/21/2011 6:19 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Andy: "It reminded me of Russia."

Can't people pump their own gas in Russia? :)

 
At 10/21/2011 8:59 PM, Blogger Nas said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 10/21/2011 9:00 PM, Blogger Nas said...

In Soviet Russia, gas pumps you.

 

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