In a state with so many intelligent people, how are we so short-sighted and stupid on just one issue?

The rest of the country is allowed to pump their own gas and somehow it works just fine. Yet here, we have happily put up with this government intrusion decade after decade with no end in sight. How many other businesses are told that they cannot offer a way for their customers to serve themselves?

Grocery stores can do it.

Frozen yogurt shops can do it.

Car washes can do it.

Banks can do it.

Drug stores can do it.

Post offices can do it.

That list can go on and on.

When bipartisan legislation was recently introduced to allow New Jersey a hybrid model of both full-service and self-service, (yes, you would have the choice) there was some hope. Some hope for those of us who are tired of sitting and waiting for one guy servicing five cars when we could easily be saving time doing it ourselves. Some hope for those of us who are sick and tired of this so-called full-service being far too often a guy who barely speaks English never even greeting you and not getting off his cell phone call during the entire encounter.

Soon Senate President Nick Scutari had a thing to say. He pointed to one Rutgers-Eagleton poll that was based on a poorly-worded question and decided that that was it, he wouldn’t support the idea and would not post it for a vote. Gov. Murphy soon followed saying he didn’t see it happening anytime soon.

That poorly-worded question? “Do you prefer to pump your own gas or have your gas pumped for you?”

I that’s like asking somebody do you prefer to pay for your dinner or have it bought for you? Do you prefer to do your homework or have it done for you? You get the idea.

The wording was flawed because it never addressed what the actual legislation was which was consumer choice. You would still in a large way have your full-service but for those of us who wanted to pump our own gas, we would finally have that opportunity at certain gas stations that chose that as their business model.

God forbid in America we have freedom of choice, huh?

This week came a much more fair poll asking the question the right way. The results of the Monmouth University poll were eye-opening. When asked if they were in favor or opposed to self-serve gas as long as full-serve gas was still an option, the majority of New Jersey said they were in favor: 54%.

What’s more, the poll found if this became available more than 2 out of 3 drivers would choose to pump their own gas and it has nothing to do with saving money. It was because it would be more convenient. The prospect of saving money only made those numbers even higher.

Yet here we sit still having the same stupid debate with the same misinformation just on a different day. This long-standing government intrusion in telling a business how it can operate is absurd and it’s pathetic that so many people don’t see it.

You’re allowed to jack up your car in your driveway and climb beneath it to do work. Far more dangerous than pumping your own gas. You’re allowed to change your own oil. Hell, you’re even allowed to take a can of gasoline on the side of the road and pour it into your car’s empty gas tank, or into your lawnmower in your garage. Far more likely to spill, by the way. But you’re not allowed to speed things up when you’re busy by dispensing it from a safer pump into your car?

If this ban on self-serve gasoline continues then perhaps New Jersey is getting exactly what it deserves.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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Pumping your own gas with Dennis Malloy

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