The Most Dishonest State in America is Exactly What You Think

The beverage brand Honest Tea, which fittingly prides itself on its honesty and transparency, conducted an experiment to determine which states are most — and least —honest in the nation.

Beginning on July 8 and continuing through July 18, the company displayed unmanned kiosks in every state throughout the nation as well as the District of Columbia. Each kiosk was stocked with Honest Tea beverages and a sign that asked each person who took a beverage to leave $1. The company compared how much money it received to the amount of beverages that were taken and was thus able to discern which states’ customers engaged in the honor system with actual integrity, and which states’ customers didn’t.

In an unsurprising result, Washington D.C. was ultimately named the most dishonest place in the nation, with only 80% of the experiment’s participants leaving the requested money. This percentage is 12 points lower than the national average.

It seems as though the trademark deceitfulness and scheming that many Americans have come to expect from their government officials is now reinforced by empirical data. Indeed, the nation’s capitol is as corrupt as many Americans already suspected.

This microcosmic experiment admittedly was not aimed at solely politicians and government officials, and it isn’t reflective of every person who lives in the city, nor is any of the data for that matter, but the irony that surrounds the result is glaring and unavoidable.

In revealing Washington's inability to pay for its drinks when no one is looking, Honest Tea's experiment provided a perfect example for why the checks and balances in the U.S. constitution are so pivotal. We as a nation clearly cannot trust our elected leaders to behave when there's no one ensuring that they are, or no ramifications for when they're not.

Perhaps the nation should move it's capitol to Alabama or Hawaii, then there might finally be some earnest governing. 

Below are the full state rankings:

State/City

% HONEST

Alabama

100%

Hawaii

100%

Indiana

99%

Maine

99%

Iowa

98%

Nevada

98%

Oklahoma

98%

Tennessee

98%

Alaska

96%

Arkansas

96%

California

96%

Nebraska

96%

New Jersey

96%

North Dakota

96%

Oregon

96%

Washington

96%

Ohio

95%

Vermont

95%

Virginia

95%

Illinois

94%

Minnesota

94%

South Carolina

94%

Wyoming

94%

Colorado

93%

Georgia

93%

Massachusetts

93%

Montana

93%

New Hampshire

93%

Rhode Island

93%

Wisconsin

93%

Florida

92%

Michigan

92%

Missouri

92%

New York

91%

Pennsylvania

91%

Idaho

90%

Kansas

90%

New Mexico

90%

North Carolina

90%

South Dakota

90%

Connecticut

89%

Maryland

89%

Delaware

88%

Utah

88%

Kentucky

87%

Texas

87%

West Virginia

85%

District of Columbia

80%

Louisiana

*

Arizona

*

Mississippi

*

*

 Not large enough Sample Size

Total

Average

92%