Brickbat: Make-Work Measure


Oregon's Supreme Court has approved a ballot referendum that would ban stores from having more than two self-checkout kiosks. The measure is backed by unions, including the Oregon AFL-CIO, who say it will save jobs. They say the kiosks also make it easier for minors to buy alcohol. But the Northwest Grocery Association says the machines let shoppers check out more quickly and with greater privacy.

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  1. Hi…
    I am Elena Gillbert.I read this block.The measure is backed by unions, including the Oregon AFL-CIO, who say it will save jobs. They say the kiosks also make it easier for minors to buy alcohol. But the Northwest Grocery Association says the machines let shoppers check out more quickly and with greater privacy.
    click here….

    1. It’s going to get bad when they develop bots that can paraphrase something from the story, instead of a direct quote, and then present a link that isn’t obviously not a newspaper or news site.

      1. The government will prevent this, but they have to stop robocalls first.

      2. This one didn’t paraphrase. Merely copied a few (but not all) sentences. Still a remarkable advance in spam commenting, whether by bot or actual human. I do wonder about that “I read this block”. Smells of foreigner, not bot, which would surely be programmed with the right noun.

    2. I welcome our AI spam overlords.

      1. A step up from Kirkland, that’s for sure.

  2. It’s Oregon. They’re not any more competent at checking out their groceries than pumping gas.

    1. Maybe so, man, but you should like see us grow pot.

  3. Jackasses. Screw limiting self-service checkouts, ban self-service supermarkets all together. Ban cash registers while you’re at it. And pre-packaged food. Customers are entitled to full-service stores – they go in, hand their grocery list to an attendant and the attendant goes and collects and packages the groceries. You’ll need a 1-to-1 employee/customer ratio, more jobs!

    1. JERBS-JERBS-JERBS!!! JERBS is where it’s at!

      Outlaw, not just cars, but bicycles and personal, individual-purpose walking as well, and just THINK of all the litter-bearer jobs that would be created!
      A king and queen playing badminton while being held up by their servants in litters.

      At least 4 (FOUR!) jobs per each traveller!

  4. How about they offer to accept the proposal if the Unions will eliminate dues.

    1. I’m on the east coast, and I can hear Portland’s union leaders laughing all the way over here.

  5. Kiosk manufacturers need a better lobby.

    1. Self lobbying kiosks that any politician can just walk up to!

      1. That actually made me laugh, well done.

  6. All the self-service kiosks I’ve ever used will lock up and require a clerk to verify your age and clear them if you try to scan anything alcoholic.

    1. Hush! Union press releases are no place for the truth.

    2. And a lot of those places has one guy manning 6 kiosks and he’s not going to check all the IDs. I get waved through all the time, despite looking much younger than I am.

      Not that I have a problem with it; if kids can get the scratch together and want to booze it up, I’m not going to say the state should stop them. What are parents for?

      1. Since that one guy will not only get fired but probably arrested when (not if) the local cops run a sting, I doubt the authenticity of your claim. Please don’t take this the wrong way but you might not be as much younger-looking as you think.

        Based on the limited data that I’ve seen, ID verifications actually go up because the checkers only have to do it when alerted. Exception-processing is almost always more efficient than rote.

        No disagreement with your comment about parents, though.

        1. While it’s unquestionably true that that guy’s ass is factually on the line, I doubt this dude realizes the extent of it, or is thinking much of it while working.

          If there’s a lot of pressure from his bosses to process people quickly, I could definitely see that particular concern becoming paramount, at the expense of thorough ID verification, particularly when the hypothetical police sting is a rare occurrence, and seems like a remote danger. I don’t think it’s wise, but that’s how human cognitive biases work.

          1. The example above was one guy supporting 6 kiosks. At one of my local stores, the ratio is closer to 1 supporting 10. Despite that, I’ve never seen that one person looking especially stressed or ever seen a backlog for processing. Yes, management can pressure staff to the point that they bend the rules but that doesn’t seem even vaguely likely here.

  7. Well, it’s only Oregon.
    At least it is a ballot measure and not a law pushed through in the middle of the night on a straight party line vote.
    ‘Those people’ deserve what they get.

  8. The very definition of fascism.

  9. Didja notice, no disposable plastic bags at the checkout?

    1. Just think of all the poor plastic bag makers that are going hungry today!

  10. But the Northwest Grocery Association says the machines let shoppers check out more quickly and with greater privacy.

    Because nothing says ‘greater privacy’ like making sure that all that same information is collected, digitized, put into a database, sold to anyone who wants it, left unprotected so it can be hacked by anyone else, etc.

    1. Pay in cash. No rewards card. Problem solved.

      1. This absolutely works, at least until they start using facial recognition from their security cameras to track you anyways.

  11. God made Oregon so California could have someone to laugh at.

    1. I believe the order of laughitude is Washing for Cali to laugh at, Oregon for Washington to laugh at…

  12. Great policy. I think Oregon should also make light bulbs illegal so we can create thousands of candle-making jobs.

    1. Only morons allude to Bastiat. At least that’s what the cool kids say when I do so.

  13. Oregon and New Jersey make no bones about bans on self serve gasoline being nothing but make-work jobs.

  14. In addition to the observations about the obvious lie about alcohol, I’ll offer up that it is a boon to off-hours shopping too.

    Our local walmart is slammed late-nights, particularly on weekends. Not with partiers either. It seems to be low/middle income shift workers coming off of second shift.

    In any event, before the self-serve kiosks, you couldn’t get out of there in less than 15 minutes at the checkout. Now, the self-checkout has 10 or 12 machines and even a fairly long line moves relatively quickly.

    It really enhances the crappy late-night shopping experience when my wife sends me out to grab 2 things she forgot for lunches in the morning. Nobody wants to go to walmart at 11pm. But if I have to go, I’d rather not wait in line for 15+ minutes.

    Screw you, union-beholden politicians. Let’s hope this goes down in flames when it reaches the electorate so they don’t want to waste any more money trying it elsewhere.

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