Imagine an unthinkable world where you opened your morning news and saw this impossible news item:

“Well, it’s about time.

Jobs feed families. And preserving them is important. It’s not like when new technology comes along and renders jobs like the iceman obsolete, other jobs pop up like refrigerator repairman.

That wisdom is not lost on New Jersey State Senator Ian McTheory. He has introduced a bill in the legislature that would ban not only all ATMs and vending machines in the state of New Jersey, it would also preserve jobs by eliminating self check-in kiosks at airports, self-scan lanes at grocery stores and those ordering touch screens at QuickCheks and Wawas.

When asked about longer lines created by the elimination of this technology McTheory said, “Sure you’ll have to wait longer at a ticket counter at Newark Airport or to order a sandwich or to buy stamps at the counter at the post office but these are all luxuries New Jerseyans will enjoy.”

He also explained driving down labor costs and reducing overhead for businesses while also saving customers time has only made prices higher, noting it could not possibly be attributed to anything else like taxes or inflation.

So no more driving up to an ATM to get out some cash, you’ll have to go inside and see the teller for that. No more filling up your own coffee at a convenience store or soda from a dispenser at Burger King.”

Doesn’t this sound great?

If your answer is no, welcome to the world of those of us who want to pump our own gas in New Jersey. Maybe now you can relate.

Of course, there is no Sen. Ian Mctheory and there’s been no legislation proposed to ban other forms of self-serve. But looking at the results of a Rutgers-Eagleton poll on a self-serve gas bill in the Assembly you would think there ought to be.

According to the poll, 73% said they didn’t want self-serve, 22% do and the rest were unsure. I can’t say I’m surprised considering the overwhelming misinformation surrounding the issue and persistent myths about self-serve. Such as the reason our gas was always cheaper compared to neighboring states was they had self-serve. No. They had higher gas taxes. And we’ve caught way up since the gas tax hike under Christie.

What’s important to remember about the bi-partisan legislation recently introduced (not McTheory’s, the real one) is that it will allow a hybrid model. Those who still want someone else to pump their gas can have that. But those who don’t would have an alternative. This is all about choice.

Only in New Jersey is that a bad word.

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

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