What does Parkinson's law tell us?

Parkinson, by studying the numbers of the British navy, notes an inflation over time of the numbers that are not directly productive.

Parkinson's law is a direct consequence of social ambition: to rise in the social hierarchy, the majority of people want to become a 'leader', ie to command instead of to do directly.
Moreover, when resources become scarce, which leads to what is modestly called restructuring, you would think that it is the non-production people who are fired first, but this is not the case, because

Consequences of Parkinson's Law

The myth on the right: to reduce public spending, you have to outsource to private companies that are more efficient.
False: Private companies are more efficient... when they are younger.

The myth of the left: to improve public services, it suffices to increase the means.
False: After a few years, public services become inefficient again, because the non-directly productive workforce has continued to increase.

Conclusion: to have more satisfactory public services, the only solution is to fully understand Parkinson's law, and to fight against it, step by step, constantly.


Wikipedia article explaining Parkinson's Law

See also chapter 2 'of the book From capital to reason.


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