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. 
The benefits of participation in the Berkeley Prize are extraordinary, not only for those students who receive an award. Involvement in the program catalyzes all students to explore their design ethics, ideas for addressing social and environmental challenges, and hopes for the future. Throughout this process, students are encouraged to clearly articulate their professional goals and identify their personal paths forward. Not surprisingly, many have gone on to have profound impact on people and places, through their activism and practice.