All they need is a good advertising campaign. Another poster put the cost of a dedicated pumping employee at a 3.3% of fuel served. That's 11-12 cents per gallon in Oregon. Consumers would be all for that, assuming they knew about it (and could be confident it would be passed on to them.)
I have an old car, which has a little bit of non-upgradeable firmware in its ECU, and a motorcycle, which has no electronics more complicated than the turn-signal flasher relay. Even an electric car doesn't have to be built with some crazy upgradeable touch-screen computer; it could just be a car.
Or if you treated credit-card bitcoin purchases as options. On the surface it's not a good idea for someone to accept credit cards for bitcoins, but why can't I use my credit card to purchase BTC at the current rate for, say, April 15 delivery? Of course, now I have to trust the seller to follow through, but that's a tractable problem that can be solved with either reputation-based trust or escrow services.
At a minimum, chargebacks can occur months later. The chances of a fraudulent chargeback would go down the longer you waited, though the changes of a legitimate "why don't I have my product yet" chargeback would likely go up.
Unfortunately, her constituents won't want to give up the political power she wields as one of the most senior Senators, even if she spends most of her time abusing that power. Next weekend, do a House of Cards marathon and you'll have all of the "political background" you need to understand what you'll be up against.
House of Cards is a fictionalized view of politics based largely on the parliamentary system (specifically, the UK parliamentary system on which the original series was based). The political maneuvering in House of Cards simply isn't possible in the U.S., including most especially, Frank's ascension in Season 1 to the VP or any of the bizarre inter-party maneuvering that dominated Season 2.
My point is, people tend to think of Congressmen as fungible commodities with equal power. They're not. Seniority influences committee assignments, among other Very Big Deals. If you replace Feinstein with a freshman Senator, nobody will owe him or her any favors.
I'd agree that Season 2 strains credulity, but the arc of Season 1 isn't that unrealistic given Frank's position in the party at the beginning of the season and the general uselessness of the VP position.
Its not the fictionalized ascention that hits so close to home: its the (seemingly) completely believable connoving and inter-personal backstabing that makes me wonder if any government worker at that level are actually human.
Its like watching a horrific massive car crash at national scale.
Having lived in Oregon (where motorists are put on a pedestal and actually served by gas station attendants) and then California, I don't understand the masses clamoring to pump their own gas. Is this supposed to be a privilege, getting out of the car in potentially inclement weather and messing around with flammable liquids?
It's nothing but the broken-window fallacy in action. If I didn't want to pump my own gas, I'd pull into a full-service lane instead of a self-service one... but the market has pretty much spoken on that issue. I don't know where I'd even find a full-service lane anymore. There is almost no demand for it in the absence of coercion.
(Yeah, yeah, I know, I should STFU and move to Somalia...)
Smoke-free businesses are a gray area, because we're talking about an addictive substance. Businesses that refuse to serve tobacco addicts are at a disadvantage that apparently can't be overcome by additional patronage from customers seeking a smoke-free environment. So the government steps in, in the name of public health. I don't agree with these laws 100%, but I can see the argument behind them.
Full-service gas stations, on the other hand, are neither prohibited nor mandated in most states. They would exist if there was a market. There's not. End of story.
It's not about the convenience of staying in your car. It's about the cronyist/protectionist attitude of not letting different business models have an opportunity to serve consumers with various price and service mixes.
I would rather not pay someone (in the form of higher gas prices) to do something that takes nearly no effort, and I can damn well do myself. Who is so lazy at they can't get out of their comfy seat for 2 minutes?
> I would rather not pay someone (in the form of higher gas prices) to do something that takes nearly no effort
Then you'd be happy to know that in addition to having full service, Oregon's gas prices are ~$.40 per gallon cheaper than California's. Full service doesn't seem to be resulting in dramatically higher prices.
> Who is so lazy at they can't get out of their comfy seat for 2 minutes?
Who doesn't have better things to do with their time than inhale gasoline fumes?
> Then you'd be happy to know that in addition to having full service, Oregon's gas prices are ~$.40 per gallon cheaper than California's. Full service doens't seem to be resulting in dramatically higher prices.
And now you're being willfully ignorant. California has a variety of other regulations that lead to higher prices. But that doesn't change the fact that Oregon's gas-pumping regulation also leads to higher gas prices.
California's gas tax is ~$.70 per gallon, Oregon is ~$.50. Now granted, California has roughly 3x the miles of roadway that Oregon has... This probably explains why California's roads are atrociously bad and Oregon's are relatively pristine.
The difference isn't just in taxes. California has an artificially restricted supply of gasoline because it requires a specific formula (ostensibly to reduce emissions) and only six or seven refineries are equipped to meet that regulation.
Oregon's standards allow it to buy from a far larger market.
It does. Just at a very basic level they're reducing the amount of smog-producing particulates and toxins such as benzene in the typical gallon of gas. Obviously, a reduction in those constituents is going to affect their ratios in the combustion products, it's like reducing the number of moles on the left side of a balanced chemical equation. The moles on the right are going to drop because there's less material.
This is actually one area where the refining industry wants federal regulation: they would vastly prefer to deal with a single set of standards for the whole country than tailoring individual plants to 50 different standards.
It's not a decent service, though. It's a service not many want to pay extra for. Personally I would even pay a bit extra to be able to pump my own gas. It certainly doesn't save me any time to have them pump it for me, and it's awkward to boot.
There's no shortage of things they could be doing, but instead, we're paying them to stand around most of the time inhaling gasoline fumes. We could instead be paying those people to do something actually useful, like running fiber to homes and businesses, or delivering goods so that we don't have to travel, or a million other things that would increase our productivity.
I live just over the Washington border in the eastern part of the state and go to Oregon frequently. Same situation as you've found compared to California - Oregon is normally $0.10 or so cheaper per gallon. Often the attendants will wipe your windshield, check your wipers, tell you the sports score and weather, etc. It's rather charming really. Even when I was in Portland on business, I don't think I ever viewed it as taking any longer for the attendant to do it over what it would have taken me. If you really want to do it yourself, you can get a commercial fuel membership and pump away at those stations.
That is not a fair comparison. California's gas tax (including excise tax) is higher than Oregon. In addition, California requires a more expensive blend of gasoline. A better comparison would be to a state that has similar taxes and gasoline requirements. As a bonus, the availability of refineries is a significant factor in gasoline prices.
Weird, I live in IA. I've never heard that there are states where gas cannot be pumped by the customer. Weather? All gas stations I've seen have an open pavilion/roof over all of the pumps. Flammable liquids? Unless you are smoking while pumping your gas, there's a pretty low risk of explosion or fire. There are cases of static electricity igniting the gas but that's rare. Normally the non-conductive handle protects against that very well.
It seems that it would actually be less convenient to have to wait for an attendant, especially when the station is busy. Unlike service from behind the checkout counter, the attendant must walk around to each car...at least twice I'm assuming...to start and stop the fuel? I'm not familiar with it.
The weather in California is rarely, if ever, inclement enough to make it a bother to get out of the car to pump gas. Most of the time it's quite pleasant, as you get 45 seconds to take in the clear blue sky, starry night, or gorgeous sunset.
If you lived here you'd understand. NJ people are just like NY they have no time to get out of their car & deal with that bull, especially with bad weather an entire season. We also have the refineries here & we get cheaper gas almost always as a result. It's been challenged MANY times but the damn GOP old folks don't want to get it go.
This is surreal. In western Europe, you'll find somebody manning a shop next to the pumps, if there is one, and you may have to pay for gas inside the shop, but most pumps take credit cards. I think any lawmaker suggesting that an attendant be made mandatory would be cause for much hilarity. I understand that this is a way for the state to provide jobs artificially, but it's definitely a different way of operating.
But my point is that it is indeed cheaper to hire a chef to cook meals -- in some cases, but that doesn't justify making it mandatory.
You're taking, as given, the claim that attended fuel pumping is cheaper -- but that's only true sometimes, just like with the home chef, especially if (as in my ignorant aristocrat example) you factor in opportunity costs, which was the point.
When people insist that attended fuel is cheaper in terms of sticker price ... well, that's dubious, but let's assume, for whatever reason, it is (maybe there are insurance savings?). It still has a higher opportunity cost for several reasons, many of which you just listed.
The reality is, you can usually pump your own gas without the attendants giving you a problem. They may come over and take-over the pumping after you've gotten it started - but I've never has any of them get upset at me for taking the initiative.
It's not always that easy. Yes, any branch of government -- legislative, executive, or judicial -- has the authority to shut these programs down. But you can rest assured that the first people the NSA spied on were the politicians and judges who might try to stop them.
What happened to Eliot Spitzer didn't involve the NSA specifically, but I'm sure the lesson wasn't lost on anyone.