Re: Reason 23 why i love living here

I'm not a real doofus, but I play one at a national laboratory (
Fri, 06 Nov 1998 10:31:22 -0600

Inner Salmon wrote:

> Oh, give me a break.

One break, coming up. I tried to resist, but your troll finally got to me.

> The Oregon law isn't against pumping your own gas, it's requiring service
> stations to provide *service*

I'm sorry, you forgot to put your answer in the form of a question. Also, it's
contradicted by the Oregon Revised Statutes. -- Sections 480.315 to 480.385

> 480.330 Operation of gasoline dispensing device by public prohibited. No
> owner, operator or employee of any filling station, service station, garage
> or other dispensary where Class 1 flammable liquids are dispensed at retail,
> shall permit any person other than the owner, operator or employee to use or
> manipulate any pump, hose, pipe or other device for dispensing such liquids
> into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle or other retail container.

Some of these regulations appear to have been on the books since at least 1959
(California had self service stations as early as 1947 according to, due to the belief that
self-service is prohibitively dangerous, among other concerns. I especially
enjoyed the line:

> The dangers of crime and slick surfaces described in subsection (3) of this
> section are enhanced because Oregon's weather is uniquely adverse, causing
> wet pavement and reduced visibility;

Don't let these folks work on the tourism marketing campaigns.

"Oregon, the uniquely adverse weather state"

Incidentally, I believe it's still unlawful in most states for customers to
pump gas into gas cans ("approved containers") -- check the signs at the gas
station next time you're there -- which have to be some of the most ignored
laws ever.

> And no, gas doesn't cost any more in Oregon than Washington.

The Statutes betray a less sanguine outlook:

> (10) The significantly higher prices typically charged for full-service fuel
> dispensing in states where self-service is permitted at retail:
> (a) Discriminate against customers with lower incomes, who are under greater
> economic pressure to subject themselves to the inconvenience and hazards of
> self-service;
> (b) Discriminate against customers who are elderly or handicapped who are
> unable to serve themselves and so must pay the significantly higher prices;
> ...

> (14) Self-service dispensing at retail contributes to unemployment,
> particularly among young people;

I suppose Burger Kings will be required to provide waiters, too? And Motel 6
will have concierges? And ...

Also, retail customers are feared too stupid to take care of their cars:

> (c) Increases self-service dispensing and thereby decreases maintenance
> checks by attendants, which results in neglect of maintenance, which
> endangers both the customer and other motorists and results in unnecessary
> and costly repairs;

So, it's more governmental interference in markets and personal choices, with
the usual set of costs and unintended consequences. They claim otherwise, of
course, but lawmakers always do that:

> (13) A general prohibition of self-service dispensing of Class 1 flammable
> liquids by the general public promotes public welfare by providing increased
> safety and convenience without causing economic harm to the public in
> general;

They don't address the ramifications of committing suicide with motor fuel.
Presumably it's only a $500 civil fine against your estate.

The whole thing is trivial on the surface, but nonetheless represents a
Hobbesian worldview. It's about the state taking charge and care of the
populace, which will gladly trade freedom of choice for some form of safety.
Weather aside, Oregon is still far better than most other places one might live
in the world, but lawmaking is an opiate that should be tightly controlled.

> Nelson, missing Portland.

Keep shooting. You're bound to hit it eventually.


Pump free or die.