the Panera Bread company just proved it. The Panera Bread Company opened a store this past year that is run on a non-profit model. Basically, people pay for their food on the honor system. If you can’t afford to pay, you can still get food. If you can afford to pay, you pay and perhaps pay a little extra to cover the cost of the food of your fellow customers who can’t afford to pay. And – it works!
The good folks at Panera bread didn’t know if this would work because, well, you just can’t ever be sure of basic human nature. And leaving the payment up to the best behavior of your customers is a risk. But it turns out that people are basically good and the number of good people more then makes up for the few who might be taking advantage of this system. Which is good because this model actually pays for itself as a way to help feed the hungry. So double plus good.
The next time someone tells you that people are basically evil don’t believe them. Thanks to Panera Bread we now have capitalist proof that people are basically good.