opinion | Tom Keane

Massachusetts should do away with price stickers

NEW JERSEY and Oregon won’t let motorists fill up their own gas tanks. They’re the only two states with that prohibition, and regular TV viewers can guess why. The folks depicted on “Jersey Shore” don’t seem to have the intellectual oomph to be able to manage the task, while the Oregonians in “Portlandia” are just too flaky.

Massachusetts, thank goodness, thinks better of its drivers, but when it comes to us as shoppers we are, apparently, idiots. Walk into most grocery stores and you’ll find that each item is labeled with the price. For good reason — the law is both expensive and useless — no other state in the union requires this. But here in the Bay State, even as the original rationale for the rule has disappeared, self-styled consumer advocates have fought to keep the item pricing requirement. Legislation repealing it is now before the governor. Like blue laws, Sunday closings, and excessive licensure requirements for trades like hairdressing, this one deserves to go.

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