Honest, sort of

Many years ago – 23 to be exact – we undertook a major consumer study and published it in a special issue called “The Jeweler and His Customer.” (In those days we weren’t ready to acknowledge that women might run a jewelry business!) As part of the study we asked consumers to rate various business and professional people for honesty on a 1-to-10 scale where 1 was least honest and 10 most honest. Jewelers scored 5.8, well behind doctors and bankers, marginally behind discount store clerks and – hallelujah – well ahead of politicians (3.7) and door-to-door salesmen (3.3). Our headline for the story: “Jewelers are . . . sort of honest.” Let’s fast forward to today. Well, doctors and bankers have been taking their lumps, discount store clerks almost certainly will have slipped down the scale and politicians probably haven’t moved much – certainly not upwards.

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