If doing actions that reward a future self is perceived as costly could we justify these actions. If thinking about our wealth, human capital, or ability to live in 10 years time is inconceivable, will me over consume now?
In essence this sort of discussion is saying that we discount our future selves TOO steeply (compared to whatever the underlying presumption of a “fair discount factor” is). Is this a fair value judgment to make in policy? It is not one I would make, but it appears to be the basis of some overaching policies such as universal healthcare and superannuation.
In this case, we don’t need to worry about a “moral hazard problem” even though (empirically) the actions of moral hazard will appear. Why? Because the actors aren’t thinking about the future selves and so these “inefficient” outcomes would have occurred in the first place! Policy helps to correct this by transfering resources to our future selves to improve outcomes relative to the REAL counterfactual (rather than the idealized one where agents choose on the basis of our subjectively fair discount rate).
I think it is important to keep this issue in mind, because it is a closet behavioural assumption behind most policy. If we buy this value judgment, then we will believe in a larger role for government then if we didn’t.