“Hypocrite!” Yawn

Calling someone a hypocrite is like calling someone a Nazi. It’s just tired and doesn’t mean anything anymore. (Actually being either is objectionable – obviously in the case of Nazism, anyhow. Hypocrisy might not be that big a deal.)

Paul Krugman (HT: Steven Landsburg):

In America, many self-described deficit hawks are hypocrites, pure and simple. They’re eager to slash benefits for those in need but their concerns about red ink vanish when it comes to tax breaks for the wealthy.

Doing A has a negative effect on C. Doing B has a positive effect on C. Is supporting both A and B hypocritical? Under what circumstances? Any examples or counterexamples?

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