Government: What Does It Do?


Government is the means by which a society organizes itself to accomplish collective goals. In most nations, governments set standards of behavior for citizens, protect them from outside threats, and provide them with essential goods. Governments also make sure that all citizens have a way to voice their opinions and ideas about how the nation should be run.

The specific tasks a government takes on depend on the type of governmental system it has, but all government systems share a common function: they allocate authority to accomplish organizational policies and provide benefits for the people that live in a country. Most governments also regulate access to public goods that are in limited supply, such as fish in the sea or clean drinking water. Governments also have a responsibility to protect public goods so that some people do not use them all, leaving others without.

In the United States, there are three main branches of our federal government: the legislative branch (the House of Representatives and the Senate); the executive branch (the President and his/her assistants); and the judicial branch (the Supreme Court). Each of these three main branches has its own power and responsibilities, but they all work together to make sure that the nation runs smoothly. If any one branch gets too powerful, the other two branches balance it out by limiting its power. This is called the system of checks and balances.

Another important job of government is ensuring that all laws passed by Congress are followed. The President, as the head of the executive branch, enforces the laws that Congress makes. The President also has the power to veto bills that Congress passes. Congress has the power to override the President’s veto with two-thirds of both chambers’ approval. The judicial branch interprets the law, and the president nominates Supreme Court justices, courts of appeal, and district judges. The Congress has the power to approve or reject those nominees, and it can impeach Supreme Court justices and other judges if they act inappropriately.

Each of these three major branches has its own ways to limit its own powers, but they all work together to make sure the government runs well. This is because history has taught them that if any one of these branches gets too powerful, they will cause problems for the whole country.

Many governments around the world have different types of governmental systems, but they all strive for the same things: economic prosperity, secure borders, and safety for their citizens. Most governments also provide the people with public goods such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure to help them get around. In addition, they make sure that the citizens can speak freely, and they allow them to vote in elections so that they can choose who will run their government. Some governments even have military forces to protect their countries from terrorists and other threats. They also send diplomats to communicate with the governments of other countries.