Honesty Is The Best Policy

Honest Tea came out with their survey results of the most honest city and types of people.

Here is how it worked: They set up 30 unmanned food stands selling their Honest Tea, and left a sign asking the customer to leave $1 if they take one of the delicious teas. Interestingly enough what came out from the results is that Oakland and Salt Lake City were the most honest cities. Followed closely by Boulder, Madison Ave, San Francisco, Wall Street, Boston, and Sea Side Heights. Honest Tea flavors

Salt Lake City and Oakland were 100% honest. That is pretty amazing. Initially, in my head it makes sense that Salt Lake City is the most honest, as they are a well connected community, with strong values and the best volunteer rates. Doesn’t Oakland sound anomalous to you though? It does to me, but that just goes to show that you cannot judge a book by its cover. Turns out that Oakland and the San Francisco area are within the top 20% of volunteering in the nation. That says that they have a interconnected community that for the most part is looking out for one another. This is not to say that there are not other reasons that could be the result of this, but it is an interesting thing to point out.

The correlation continues. If you look at the cities who were the least honest, you have Brooklyn, Los Angeles, The Bronx, and Miami. All of which are in the bottom 5 least active cities for volunteers. Why is volunteering correlated to people paying for a $1 bottle of tea? Again, I acknowledge that there are many other correlations, but one of the reasons volunteering could be correlated is the fact that it increases community camaraderie, and it also teaches those who do volunteer, that free is not always free, it will have an effect on someone else.

Image of honesty index and locations of surveys Taking that line of thought, that could be why you see Wall Street being one of the most honest places. As bad of a rap Wall Street gets for their actions with our financials, and the many stories we hear about embezzling, they do still realize the price of free. Economists will tell you that there is no free lunch, everything you do does have some cost, whether it is time, resources, money, or an effect on others. The investment bankers may not be known as strong volunteers, but many of them are philanthropists, and they do give back, which makes them kin in this harsh world.

What Honest Tea has done is truly amazing, and it is something we can all take to heart and feel good about, because even the worst city was 61% honest. It almost restores your faith in humanity. Honestly, would you have paid for the tea if their was no one watching?


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