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. 
W illiam Styron’s memoir of melancholy is aptly titled Darkness Visible , a phrase taken from Milton’s description of hell in Paradise Lost . Styron recounts that his depression was a condition so mysteriously painful and elusive as to exceed description. The inability of others to understand this experience is part of what makes depression so isolating. Preferring the older term melancholia , Styron lodges a protest against the very word depression , a term used indiscriminately to describe an economic downturn or a rut in the road—a truly wimpy word for such a serious illness.
“ In premodern Europe marriage usually began as a property arrangement, was in its middle mostly about raising children, and ended about love. Few couples in fact married 'for love', but many grew to love each other in time as they jointly managed their household, reared their offspring, and shared life's experiences. Nearly all surviving epitaphs to spouses evince profound affection. By contrast, in most of the modern West, marriage begins about love, in its middle is still mostly about raising children (if there are children), and ends - often - about property, by which point love is absent or a distant memory. ”