Entitlement Government Liberalism Truth

Entitlement Kicks in Over Oregon Self-Service Gas Pumps

Rod Thomson

Most Americans were probably drop-jawed to learn there was a state in the union where government overseers prohibited the people from pumping their own gas. The ultra-progressive and ever-controlling Oregon Legislature had banned this otherwise normal behavior for more than 50 years, ostensibly to provide some form of protection for its residents.

This is the practical reality of the general principle that government coddling creates entitlement, pampered residents with fewer freedoms, and reduced abilities to live independently. Oregon has been telling its residents for generations they are incapable of pumping their own gas, and now there are generations of Oregonians who are terrified at the prospect of doing what more than 300 million other Americans do without a thought.

The first thing that comes to mind are the scenes from the animated Pixar movie Wall-E, where the remainder of earth’s population cruise the galaxy on the spaceship Axiom. The passengers are so dependent on the automated ship that they have become obese, too feeble to walk and incapable of caring for themselves. They definitely would not have been able to pump their own gas.

But now the Oregon Legislature moved partially into the 1980s when it recently passed a law allowing rural gas stations to let people pump their own gas. Portlandians are still safe from the ordeal; government continues to protect them from gas pump handles. But others in the supposed rugged rural areas are outraged at the change (because outrage comes easily these days.)

Take a look at some of these Facebook comments from Oregonians in response to the legislature catching up to 1980 America:

“I don’t even know HOW to pump gas and I am 62, native Oregonian … I say NO THANKS! I don’t like to smell like gasoline!” one woman commented.

“No! Disabled, seniors, people with young children in the car need help,” another woman wrote. “Not to mention getting out of your car with transients around and not feeling safe too. This is a very bad idea. Grr.”

“I’ve lived in this state my whole life and I refuse to pump my own gas. This is a service only qualified people should perform. I will literally park at the pump and wait until someone pumps my gas.”

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This is really a thing in Oregon. Most of the rest of the country may laugh and mock them (except big-government nanny state New Jersey, the only remaining state with such a law) but people long relying on government-forced service don’t like losing that service. They believe they have an entitlement.

“I think that we are getting tarnished in social media,” Lizzy Acker, a reporter for The Oregonian, told NPR. Well, yes. There’s sort of a reason for that. But Acker is confident in Oregonians ability to actually pump their own gas. “And I think most Oregonians are self-sufficient enough to figure out how to pump their own gas.”

Just read that statement. There may not be a better example of how progressivism breeds dependency on government — more and more power for government over weaker and weaker people. Not surprisingly — to people who understand how capitalism works — Oregon is one of the most expensive states in the union for a gallon of gas.

Oregon’s 56-year gas-pumping law is a cautionary example of how more government regulation and control immediately limits freedoms and breeds dependence and entitlement.

Perhaps one day, all Americans will be free to pump their own gas. But only if they choose leaders with a vision for freedom over governmental dominion.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

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14 replies on “Entitlement Kicks in Over Oregon Self-Service Gas Pumps”

Because gas stations need to cover their costs by pricing gasoline accordingly. Use GasBuddy to see the price at different stations in your zip code. Costco and BJ’s are usually the cheapest, but you need a membership.

Aussies been pumpin our own “gas” since the early 1980’s, now most gas stations in Oz have ONE staff member, just to rake the $$$

Be brave and believe in yourself. I know you can manage this big task on your own with maybe just a little training.

Way back when a person stopped at a service station for fuel, there was actual service. Your windshield and back window were cleaned, air pressure in the tires was checked, and oil and water levels were checked. You could choose not to have this if you were in a hurry. And you arrived at your destination without smelling of gas and oil. And gas stations had no worries about unthinking drivers leaving with the nozzle still plunged into the gas fill receptacle.

When self-serve was first introduced, most older people preferred to continue using the full service lane (sometimes it was the whole island) as well as many women who did not wish to smell of gas and oil. I think the thought of handling a flammable liquid (however safe it may be) was troubling to them. Yes, there were pricing differences for full or self serve.

Currently, most of us have no choice; it’s self-serve or nothing. Most times I don’t care; I’m happy to pump and go. Sometimes when I am going someplace nice or don’t feel well, I’d like to have the choice. And the only pricing difference–if there is one–is between paying cash and credit.

All this to say, yes, I understand why Oregonians are freaked out about self serve. That came and went many years ago in the states that have had it for so long. Most people don’t remember the big fuss it was back then. It was the talk at every supper table.

It’s really not a case of entitlement. It’s more a case of adjusting to an unnerving change. The Oregonians will survive however much they don’t like handling the pump.

BS. I’m 72 and I remember quite well the time of full service. The change was swift and not a problem. I don’t remember friends and family talking about the travails of pumping gas. The only thing I miss is the green stamps and the home products displayed on the island to choose from when our green (sometimes yellow) stamp books were filled. I’m sure the little Oregon babies will be able to figure it out. They can figure out how to use their EBT cards without assistance and walk down a street protesting and injecting needles in their arms and using an Obama phone. No problem.

Oregon’s ban on self-service was reinforced in 1982 when the state’s voters rejected a ballot measure that would have legalized self-service. Other legislative attempts have died before gaining any speed. And that’s OUR choice!

I remember the first to i encountered this issue in Oregon. Driving a rental car after leaving Portland airport and driving south on I5. Stopped to get gas in Grants Pass and of course forgot about not pumping my own gas. So, i had the nozzle out of the pump and ready to stick it in the car when this guy came running out yelling for me to stop. Which I did. He took the nozzle from me and immediately dumped about of quart of gas down the side of the car. I got a real chuckle out of that. This year while in Oregon, I waited 10 minutes after my car was full for the attendant to come and remove the nozzle from my vehicle. Well at least my hands didn’t smell like gas.

What do these helpless entitled snowflakes do when they travel to another state and there isn’t a brutish looking man to do this filthy nasty job for them?

Dear Oregonians beware of self-service electric charging stations … you don’t want to smell like electricity, either.

Seriously, though, the pumps are clearly marked with written instructions that even the bozo who used to pump your fuel could understand. Just be careful to read, understand and follow the instructions.

Otherwise the next nuclear missile launch from North Korea will land in Portland. Just be careful out there!

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