Q: What’s with not being able to pump your own gas?
A: It’s simple. Once upon a time, all gas stations were full service (really full service, as in they’d wash your windows, check the tire pressure, etc. for free). As often happens, gradually costs rose, the gas stations laid off as many people as they could, and they lobbied the states to allow drivers to pump their own gas, on the grounds that they could then provide the same service more cheaply (since they’d be able to employ fewer people).
Most of the states bought this argument (help me out, anybody whose state doesn’t allow self-service, I thought there was still one other), but NJ said, “Huh. Well, if that’s true, let’s see if gas prices (all else being equal) go down in the states that change the law.”
Well, of course the gas prices didn’t go down, so Jersey saw no reason to help oil conglomerates make even higher profits, and kept their laws the same.
P.S. Being from Jersey myself, I must add that vast sections of NJ do not suck, but we do tend to keep the sucky sections along major Interstates. Perhaps that’s so you out-of-staters keep going and don’t try to stay and drive our housing costs any higher!
…but when you get blue, and you’ve lost all your dreams, there’s nothing like a campfire and a can of beans!