Parkinson’s Law (a.k.a. Parkinsons Law), and some of it variations and roles in the context of the gradual decline of the efficiency and effective operations of governments, were described by C. Northcote Parkinson (* 30 July 1909 – † 9 March 1993), when he presented his first law (and some others that are derived from or relate to it), “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” That was in a 1955 essay published in The Economist, an essay which is accessible online. Here is the beginning of it (click on the image for the rest):
That essay is short, but – because it became very popular – C. Northcote Parkinson soon produced a book on the topic, “Parkinson’s Law, or The Pursuit of Progress (1957)”.
I have a paperback on hand that is, according to its foreword by C. Northcote Parkinson, a complete reprint of the original, without amendment. That is because, as C. Northcote Parkinson stated, “The validity of Parkinson’s Law has been proved again and again.”
— Parkinson: The Law, Complete (First American edition 1980).
The back cover of the book presents – from the author’s examination of what causes governments to creak and their efficiency to decline (into chaos, the book leads one to assume) – those of Parkinson’s laws that the author apparently held to be the most important ones of the laws that he had discovered:
- Parkinson’s Law
“Work expands so as to fill available time.”
- Law of Extravagance
“Expenditure rises to meet income—and tends to surpass it.”
- Law of Triviality
“The time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved.”
- Law of Delay
“Delay is the deadliest form of denial.”
- Law of the Vacuum, or Hoover for President
“Action expands to fill the void created by human failure.”
The first of a few illustrations in the book that demonstrate the growth of bureaucracies (on page 8), in inverse relation to the declining need for them to be involved, is also shown in the article in The Economist:
Deliberate application of Parkinson’s Law of Triviality to social engineering
The law of triviality was applied to the promotion of the planned destruction of the family that began in earnest in the 1960s and continued ever since. The results were predictable, as far as to what were the respective fates of the important item and of the far less important one on the agenda for social engineering.
Because the far more important item on the agenda got little attention, funding and promotion, and the trivial, nevertheless harmful one got far more attention, funding and promotion – just because a few radical feminists (a.k.a. Marxist- or socialist-feminists wanted it that way) – the fate of the traditional, nuclear family was sealed.
Funding disparities — A consequence of the Law of Triviality
In the US, the ratio of funding for dealing with the consequences of family disintegration vs. preventing that disintegration is 1000:1
“Fiscal conservatives should realize that federal and state governments spend $150 billion per year to subsidize and sustain single-parent families. By contrast, only $150 million is spent to strengthen marriage.
Thus, for every $1,000 spent to deal with the effects of family disintegration, only $1 is spent to prevent that disintegration.”
—Source: The Effects of Divorce on America (June 2, 2000)