Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Self-Service Gasoline

I ran across the following in a piece by Don Boudreaux:
"Consider the response of a New Jersey woman to my suggestion that the Garden State's prohibition on self-service gasoline stations be lifted. 'Oh, no!' she cried, 'that would be disastrous! People here don't know how to pump their own gasoline. They'd spill it all over the place!'"
I just can't imagine why anyone would think there were legitimate reasons for government to ban self-service gasoline stations. Could it really be because politicians said customers would spill gasoline all over the place? There must be some rent-seeking explanation for government to force a prohibition on self-service gasoline stations. Would we also expect such a prohibition to suggest government is corrupt? I've heard others assert that New Jersey government was the most corrupt in the country. Or is this just a law that is oppressive?

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