In 2014, economists with the Standard & Poor's rating agency concluded that the widening disparity between the .'s wealthiest citizens and the rest of the nation had slowed its recovery from the 2008–09 recession and made it more prone to boom-and-bust cycles. To partially remedy the wealth gap and the resulting slow growth, S&P recommended increasing access to education. It estimated that if the average United States worker had completed just one more year of school, it would add an additional $105 billion in growth to the country's economy over five years. 
The incentive structure of the modern welfare state is similar to the one that Franklin condemned in old England, except that ours is more generous and more tolerant of single motherhood. Since 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson inaugurated the modern War on Poverty, total annual government welfare spending has grown from less than $9 billion ( percent of gross domestic product) to $324 billion (5 percent of GDP) in 1993 to $927 billion (6 percent of GDP) in 2011.  Between 1965 and 2013, the government spent $22 trillion (adjusted for inflation) on means-tested welfare programs—more than three times the costs of all military wars in the history of the United States.