Government is a group of people who make the rules for their country or community. It also makes sure those rules are followed. Government is organized in many different ways, but in the United States it includes three branches: legislative, executive and judicial.
The Constitution, written by our founding fathers, defines the way we organize our government. The framers put a lot of thought into how the government should work, and they designed it to have checks and balances. This means that each branch has its own power, and they can limit the powers of other branches. This keeps the government from being too powerful.
In the United States, Congress (the legislative branch) decides what laws to pass. The president (the executive branch) then carries out those laws. The Supreme Court and other federal courts (the judicial branch) judge whether those laws are fair and legal. Congress also enacts taxes and appoints people to high-level positions in the government.
Governments can also provide services that the market cannot provide in enough quantity or at low enough costs, like national security and education. These are called public goods. Governments can make them available to all citizens, even those who don’t pay for them. Governments can tax people and businesses in order to pay for those goods and services. Governments can also control the activities of businesses and citizens to prevent criminal activity and terrorism.
One of the most important jobs of government is to protect our nation from attack and invasion by other countries. The military, intelligence agencies and the justice department are all part of our government. Government can also help provide other important services, like health care, education and housing for poor people.
Some of the things that government does are not needed by everyone, so they are called “public goods.” These are things that the private sector cannot produce in enough quantity or at a low enough cost to meet all of our needs. Examples of public goods include national defense, education and health care. Government can produce these by using the money that it collects from taxes.
The United States has a constitutional republic, which is a form of democracy. In a republic, most people get to choose who runs the government by voting for representatives or senators. These representatives or senators come from groups of people who have similar ideas and philosophies about how the government should run. These groups are called political parties.