Totally agree it is the lack of long term view that is the problem. It's only when you have enough life experiance that you can see that the world is not black and white. The problem is that people die/retire too young and the new folk merrily repeat the errors of the past.
Going back to comments in other part of the thread about population; I would argue that population is being held up as some sort of boogie man, the "Do this and the Boogie man will get you" line is just stupid.
We are already at six million, if we just have business as usual we will all most certainly overpopulate. So regardless of what we do about lifespan "at some point in time" we will have to enact something that holds the population in check or actually decreases it. How big a number we elect for is up for grabs. But at some point it has to stop.
In the future: We can carry on with our fixed population size, imposed via whatever methods are "acceptable" and we will have options:
1.Everyone can live short lives and breed.
2.Everyone can have very long lives with limited breeding (remember natural attrition)
3.Some mixture of 1 and 2 i.e. half living long lives and half breeding.
I would suggest options 2 and 3 would give us the best options for maintaining peace and advancing in all areas of our lives.
If people don't know how to fill their time and don't want to live long that is not a problem for society, provided it has not invested too much in them.