AS248: Cognitive Dissonance Or Bust

The dudes are back! Tom and Cecil are in the house, and we’re talking everything politics. What do they think about Bernie or Bust? Are they #neverTrump? Also, how do they feel about free college? Find out, and of course, enjoy a heaping helping of profanity and off-color jokes!

If you’d like to hear part 2 early, go to!

And of course, you can hear the guys over at

7 thoughts on “AS248: Cognitive Dissonance Or Bust”

  1. I’m listening to the free college debate and couple of thoughts. While free college would be fantastic it does sound to me that Tom (cd) is under estimating the cost to government, see link for numbers in Australia where our population is only 24 million, a fraction of US.
    Furthermore, in Australia at least, uni is still disproportionately attended by children wealthier families. Free college would put an unfair tax burden on the millions of families who will never directly benefit from it. While their tide will rise in an educated society it shouldn’t be their responsibly to subsidise the education of people who can afford to pay their own way.
    Perhaps better than free for all college world be a gradiated price structure that is means tested. So students pay/take on appropriate fees/debt for their circumstances.

  2. Boy, I couldn’t agree more that one should not confuse Republicans with conservatives. A true conservative is not stupid. Or loud. Or dishonest. Or irresponsible. Or reckless. Republicans, on the other hand, can be, and often are, all of those things. In fact, come to think of it, The Donald may just be the quintessential Republican.

    An educated populace is very good for the country at large, but is it good for the top point-one percent? Those are the people we need to look out for. We must go to whatever lengths necessary to insure that they are not inconvenienced or upset in the process. But seriously, I never got the impression from anyone that education in exclusive private schools was to be covered lock, stock and barrel by any “free college” plan. If that were the case, hell, we’ll just all go to Harvard. The Harvard campus can occupy the entire state of Massachusetts and everyone will go there. Except for the technical people. I guess they’ll need to go to MIT which will have to be relocated to New Hampshire. If anyone can go anywhere on the gubmint’s nickel all of the private schools become state schools anyway. I always assumed that they were only talking about state schools and community colleges being free.

    You really need at least a four year degree these days to get the education we used to get in high-school back in the sixties. I met a recent electrical engineering grad who didn’t know what a peninsula was. I was mooshing peninsulas (and calling them that) onto relief maps of the world with modeling clay in the fourth grade (we’ve lost so much).

  3. I usually agree with Thomas but I found his objections to state-funded college in this episode perplexing. He said he was concerned that if the government provided free college then schools would raise tuition every year and would have no incentive to charge less or rein in costs.

    But isn’t that what we have right now? After all a large percentage of student loans are paid by the federal government (in the form of federal direct loans). I know my student loans certainly are, as are the loans of most of my friends who have student loan debt. College and grad school tuition is more expensive than ever and the price goes up almost every year. This is because schools know that the government will provide loans to cover whatever they set the cost of tuition at. And student loans can basically never be discharged in bankruptcy (unlike other kinds of loans).

    What we have right now is in fact the worst of both worlds (a free market system or a state-funded system). If we switched to a pure free market system (e.g. the government doesn’t loan money for education or pay for education at all and student loans can be discharged in bankruptcy), then less people would go to college, but schools would also have to keep tuition costs down to what the market would support because lenders would not agree to loan money that the student was not likely to be able to pay it back (because then they could lose their investment if the student goes bankrupt). And taxes of course would be lower. And if we switched to a pure state-funded system (e.g. the government pays for everyone’s college or at least those who got grades good enough that it seems like college is a good idea for them) then taxes and tuition prices may increase somewhat due to government inefficiency but at least they would be paid by the state, which can afford it, as opposed to students, who are much less able to pay.

    What we have today amounts to a massive government-brokered transfer of wealth from students to colleges. The state fronts the money, which goes directly into school coffers, and then students are saddled with a debt that they can basically never get out of unless they pay it all back (plus 6-8% interest on average) or die. The state will basically pay any tuition increase that is not insanely high because they are legally required to provide education loans. So tuition costs have ballooned far ahead of inflation or increased overhead and students are stuck with it.

    Tom and Cecil were perhaps not the best advocates of state-paid college, but if we adopted a sensible plan along the lines of what many European nations are already doing (free tuition for those whose grades justify it), then I think it would be more equitable and do a lot of good.

    1. The reason “free” or single payer health care and “college for everyone” can work in some countries but never in the US is that we must make sure that everyone involved (except for the guy at the bottom of the inverted pyramid, of course) makes a profit—health care providers, drug companies, medical appliance manufactures, insurance companies, colleges and universities, student loan lenders—everyone needs a slice of the pie and the only source of ingredients for the pie is the afore mentioned guy at the bottom. In other places health care and education are viewed more as a right than a privilege or a commodity and delivery, believe it or not, can be accomplished much more reasonably. Our Health care system is by far the most expensive in the world, but we rank somewhere around 23rd or 25th or something in actual quality of care.

      But that’s the way we like it. The guy who wanted to change it was just eliminated from the race. We’ll spend our money instead, deporting 11 million people whose biggest crime is that they work harder than we do for less money. (That’s the way–uh huh uh huh–we like it–uh huh uh huh . . .)

  4. I’ve got a comment on college as well, though mine is purely from the actual education that can be earned by going to one.

    I have a degree in English and it is most certainly not useless. In fact, because colleges have turned to degree equals salary type systems, it can be argued that liberal arts degrees are by far the best ones to pursue. A liberal arts degree is obtained by learning how to learn and how to think critically. More people going to college and learning how to learn (I’m sure you think that sounds stupid, but it is a very important skill that is generally not taught by our public school system) would mean far more of the people in our country would be able to critically think through shit and would probably quit doing insane things like voting to make Donald Trump an actual presidential nominee.

    While I don’t think anyone should be forced into a college against their will, I do think it being available without the crushing financial burden it is now is a wonderful thing.

  5. Sorry, I’m late to the conversation as I just listened to this episode.

    I noticed that Thomas mentioned (at 39:20 in the episode) that he thought Bernie was proposing free tuition for all colleges and universities.

    I thought I would just mentioned that this is actually not the case. Bernie’s platform has always been free tuition for all “public” colleges and universities.

    From his website (



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