As I work through this subject, I will flag here works that I have found particularly valuable. The link is to a blog entry where I review the book.
I would recommend "Knowledge and Decisions" by Thomas Sowell. I would refer to the numerous reviews and commentary at Amazon.com .
Knowledge is not only NOT free, but its cost varies considerably in time and space. I believe Mr. Sowell's insights are even more relevant today and illustrates deep systemic issues that should be considered in (re)engineering the political process.