Sociopolitical organizations constantly encounter problems that require increased investment merely to preserve the status quo. This investment comes in such forms as increasing size of bureaucracies, increasing specialization of bureaucracies, cumulative organizational solutions, increasing costs of legitimizing activities, and increasing costs of internal control and external defence. All of these must be borne by levying greater costs on the support population, often to no increased advantage. As the number and costliness of organizational investments increases, the proportion of a society's budget available for investment in future economic growth must decline.
Joseph Tainter, The Collapse of Complex Societies (Cambridge 1988)