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Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

Utility vs. Price: Southern France or Jersey Shore?

I got an invitation to give a keynote address at a conference in southern France next June. A great conference, but I had to decline, since we’ve planned a week with the extended family on the New Jersey Shore (the only week we are all available). The man who invited me said,“… southern France would not have been a bad place to spend this holiday….”

Even though we love the Jersey Shore, he’s right—the relative utility from the French week would be higher; and if the relative price were one, we’d be off to France. However, the prices aren’t equal—it would cost over $1000 extra for each of 12 people to do the French week. Too bad—we’ll stick with the New Jersey week, a sensible and still very enjoyable economic decision in the face of income, price and time-constrained optimization.

(HT to NG)

The Wastefulness of New Jersey's Gas Pumping Restrictions

Driving through New Jersey we stop for gas and sit for a few minutes until the attendant comes to fill our tank. My son tells me that is because New Jersey has one of the most wasteful restrictions in the Union: There is no self-service gasoline; all gas must be pumped by an attendant. This wastes drivers’ time—it’s almost always quicker to pump gas oneself. The labor of the attendants is thus devoted to generating economic waste and could be spent productively elsewhere rather than in promoting economic inefficiency. Perhaps at one time the restriction was based, as they usually are, on health/safety, or perhaps on preventing pilferage. But today, with credit-card pumps and few (no?) cases of people burning themselves pumping their own gas, the restriction has no rationale—other than protecting the attendants’ jobs.