Friday, February 25, 2011

Parkinson’s Law demonstrated.

Mr. Speaker, according to Wikipedia Parkinson’s Law is the adage first articulated by Cyril Northcote Parkinson as the first sentence of a humorous essay published in The Economist in 1955:

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

I have been under the impression for a long time that old C. Northcote added two more laws to his collection, namely, Expenses rise to meet income and the ever-popular Any company with more than 1,000 employees generates enough internal correspondence so as to be self-sustaining and needs no further contact with the outside world.

I was wrong. Faux Parkinsons seem to abound, but I have now found no less than six laws said to have been promulgated or discovered or foisted upon an unsuspecting public by that selfsame C. Northcote Parkinson:

1) Work expands to fill the time available for its completion; the thing to be done swells in perceived importance and complexity in a direct ratio with the time to be spent in its completion.

2) Expenditures rise to meet income.

3) Expansion means complexity; and complexity decay.

4) The number of people in any working group tends to increase regardless of the amount of work to be done.

5) If there is a way to delay an important decision the good bureaucracy, public or private, will find it.

6) The progress of science is inversely proportional to the number of journals published.

So much for laying the background.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak of Parkinson’s First Law, and of its impact on my life, so much so that hardly any time is left for one of my favorite activities, blogging.

However, I see that the time allotted to me by the chair is rapidly drawing to a close, and therefore I will speak of this more on another occasion.

Mr. Speaker, I yield the remainder of my time.


  1. bad spelling swells to meet expectations of putzes{plural} trying to use but failing to use proper grammer<<>,.axiu,m number 8 of parkinon's law demonstrated<><>cabeshe

  2. Well, I challenge the first law: MY work always swells to take just a little LONGER than the time I have available to do it!

  3. The story of my life: "The faster I go the behinder I get." - Lewis Carroll

    Word verification = obbyzit, as in "politically, they are at obbyzit ends of the pole."