Johns Hopkins political scientist Steven Teles describes a kludge as “an ill-assorted collection of parts assembled to fulfil a particular purpose… a clumsy but temporarily effective solution, … an inelegant patch put in place to solve an unexpected problem”. Teles claims that the US government is so ‘kludge-y’, that it is now effectively a ‘Kludgeocracy’.
Teles claims “the issues that will dominate American politics going forward will concern the complexity of government, rather than its sheer size.”
Highlights: “The complexity and incoherence of our government often make it difficult for us to understand just what that government is doing… [This complexity] hides the growing tendency of public policy to redistribute resources upward to the wealthy and the organized”.
And: “Understanding, describing, and addressing this problem of complexity and incoherence is the next great American political challenge… For lack of a better alternative, the problem of complexity might best be termed the challenge of ‘kludgeocracy’.”
And: “Conservatives over the last few years have increasingly worried that America is, in Friedrich Hayek’s ominous terms, on the road to serfdom. … If anything, we have arrived at a form of government with no ideological justification whatsoever.”