THE BLOG
10/03/2011 10:07 am ET | Updated Dec 03, 2011

Thoughts on a Roll of Toilet Paper

Have you noticed that toilet paper rolls are getting shorter?

I know because a few years ago when I was decorating a house, I chose these toilet paper holders without bales. The paper is suppose to sit between the two arms, which include rings on the end the exact size of the cardboard piece in the center of the roll. I didn't need to look for a special brand. They all fit perfectly until a few years ago.

Last year, I was down to one brand and now none of them fit. I can drop any roll of toilet paper right through the middle. They are not even close to meeting the arms of the toilet paper holders.

This toilet paper holder problem got me thinking about capitalism. It is said that capitalism is what makes America great. I think the whole idea behind capitalism is that if you don't limit the amount of money individuals or companies can make, they will always strive to make more. In so doing, I imagine the creators of capitalism thought these individuals and companies would always be striving to improve their product or service or would be spurred to innovation. Improvement and innovation would lead to growth and growth would lead to job creation.

But what happens when companies decide just to charge the customer the same or more for less? After all, the bottom line is the most important thing. A profit must be shown every year.

I imagine that companies and individuals on the cutting edge creating new products and services are excited about what they do and enjoy going to work everyday. I imagine that they value their employees and look at them as integral to their growth and success. I bet they get excited about adding to the workforce and contributing to the community and to society at large.

How does it feel to be the person who just keeps making the roll of toilet paper smaller? What is it like to work at that company? Certainly, it's no time to take on new employees. It doesn't take more people to make less.

We hear a lot about job creation these days and how it's not happening. I guess a company would have to have a philosophy and a desire to do more than just show an improvement in their bottom line to create jobs. Their ideas about the future would have to be greater than just giving the customer less or charging more.