Paul Krugman says Robert Samuelson is a hypocrite because Samuelson is tediously, incessantly worried today about the long-run solvency of the social security trust fund, but isn't so worried about the long-run destruction of the planet via climate change. I have the feeling Samuelson wouldn't agree that the two situations are analagous, but let's assume Krugman is right on the merits: You can't play Cassandra with social security and Zeno with climate change. So, if we have an obligation to be consistent about social security and climate change -- if they are analagous long-run problems -- why can't someone just toss the hypocrisy charge right back at Krugman?
The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?