Protestants often see the Reformation as explaining the origins of religious freedom. But the example of Calvin and Castellio suggests that Protestantism itself did not point the way to religious freedom. American national mythology often attributes the origins of religious freedom to the Puritans who fled persecution in England and settled in New England. But the Puritans believed in religious freedom only for Puritans; they were stricter enforcers of religious conformity than many European states. The actual adoption of any meaningful practice of religious freedom followed neither from the arguments of philosophers, nor from the nature of Protestant belief, but from the political impossibility of achieving conformity after 1600 as Protestantism grew more and more sectarian.
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.