25 May 2010

A Couple of Good Articles in Today's Wall Street Journal

Not many people write about this since C Northcote Parkinson's classic article in The Economist, November 19th, 1955. But now Paul C Light, Professor at New York University's Robert F Wagner School of Public Service, writing in the Op-Ed pages of Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, tells us, I think with a straight face, that we have a $1 Trillion Opportunity to streamline our federal government.

I have often fantasized about having an Open House in the many federal, state and local government offices we have in Billings. Wouldn't it be informative for all the government offices in the city to have one day a year in which the public is invited to see exactly what they do, and perhaps compare and contrast the output of an office with the number of people that allegedly work there. for example, to the left is a demonstration of what our fire department does.

The Law that Professor Parkinson puckishly came up with after lengthy study of the British Admiralty was: Work expands to fill the time available for its completion. And related to this is the corollary of the rate at which bureaucracies expand over time, explained by the observations that "an official wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals," and "officials make work for each other." 

I remember very well going to some office here in Billings to get my passport renewed and noting that there were two people to do the work that quite a bit less than one person could do easily. I remember making those same observations while visiting offices in Washington DC and doing something very similar when I was in the Air Force.

The other article I found fascinating was the revocation of the license of the doctor who first mused on the possible relationship of Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine with subsequent autism. Apparently he was arrogant enough to think that he would never be caught out by reality, even though it took them at least 12 years to do it and multiple injuries and deaths from actual measles infections.

No comments:

Downtown Billings in the SummerTime

Downtown Billings in the SummerTime
At The BrewPub on Broadway

Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix in the Winter Time

Good Cheese Here

Good Cheese Here
Vermont Cheddar & Minnesota Blue

TAKE TIME FOR PARADISE

TAKE TIME FOR PARADISE
Dehler Park, Billings MT, July 2008 This is what Bart Giamatti recommends for good mental health.

Me and Joan

Me and Joan
Early elderly and middle middle age: We May Know Something You Don't

Mrs America

Mrs America
Fortunately these girls had a good-looking mother

Rimrocks @ Billings MT

Rimrocks @ Billings MT
“In beholding old stones we may feel our anxieties about our achievements–and lack of them–slacken . . . Vast landscapes [and seascapes] can have an anxiety–reducing effect similar to ruins, for they are the representatives of infinite space, as ruins are the representatives of infinite time, against which our weak, short-lived bodies seem no less inconsequential than those of moths or spiders.”—Alain de Botton in Status Anxiety

Easter Sunday at St Patrick's Co-Cathedral

Easter Sunday at St Patrick's Co-Cathedral
12 April 2009

Pleasant Hillside at Hustisford, AKA The Grassy Knoll for you conspiracy buffs

Pleasant Hillside at Hustisford, AKA The Grassy Knoll for you conspiracy buffs
A Lot of Muellers Are Buried Here