My mom was just telling me about how there was an ‘Honesty Coffee Shop’ somewhere in Batanes, where there is no staff to collect your bill. You just write down what you had ordered and drop off your payment in some box as you leave.
There’s also a sign saying that your payment goes to taking care of a couple of old folks next door. And if you don’t have change for which to pay, you can either have your money broken up in a nearby shop, or give the excess amount as donation/tip.
Apparently, this system works, if a shop can maintain its operations for an extended period of time!
WHY COERCION AS SOLUTION?
This goes to show that there are other pressures, perhaps even more effective than the threat of force or retaliation, that make people do ‘the right thing,’ in this case, paying for what you eat. For one thing, there are social standards inculcated in us, the ignoring of which leads to guilt or self-loathing. Sure you can ignore this non-coercive peer pressure, but you shut yourself out from friendly dealings in the future as a result. And who would want it in their conscience that they starved senior citizens?
Yet we’re supposed to believe that sans the state, people will allow themselves to continue to interact and be suckered by the same deviants. Thus we have all sorts of regulations which end up stifling even the most peaceful and agreeable transactions.
GOVERNMENT BEGETS EVEN WORSE GOVERNMENT
Not to mention that government meddling promotes suckering on a grand-scale, via congressional franchises, Customs harassment, Hacienda Luisita, etc., which in turn have their government countermeasures, e.g. antitrust, higher taxes, agrarian reform, etc.
Maybe the Abad dynasty which controls Batanes, and other politicians as well, can take their cue from this café, a simple example of how honesty actually works.