What Does a Government Do?


Governments are responsible for providing many services and regulating many aspects of life. They are also responsible for protecting their people from external threats and calamities. The primary purpose of any government should be to create and maintain an environment and infrastructure in which citizens can live meaningful and fulfilling lives. Governments can achieve this goal by raising taxes in order to provide public education, public transportation, housing for the poor, food for everyone and medical care for seniors. Alternatively, they can pursue an ideal of egalitarianism and eliminate socioeconomic inequalities in their societies. Governments should also protect their people from the threat of exploitation and oppression.

Government can be thought of as the branch of an organization that has authority to manage a specific political unit, or State. Governments exist in various forms, including a monarchy, an oligarchy, a democracy (direct and representative), a communism or socialism, or an autocracy.

In the United States, the three branches of government are the Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial. Each branch has a particular role and has different functions. The Executive branch is made up of the President, Vice President and heads of departments. The Legislative branch consists of Congress and the state legislatures. The Judicial branch includes the Supreme Court and all other courts.

Probably the most important function of any government is to keep its people safe. This can be done through military protection and disaster response. It can also be accomplished by preventing crime and enforcing laws. Governments may also be able to help with economic development, as they can build or buy buildings and equipment for businesses. This can be especially important in developing countries.

Other important duties of government are to regulate access to common goods, such as natural resources. This prevents some people from taking everything available and leaving others with nothing. This is particularly important for resources that are in limited supply, such as fish in the sea or clean drinking water. For example, the government has banned DDT and PCBs, which have been found to cause cancer.

The Framers of the Constitution of the United States believed that governments should protect natural rights, or the unalienable rights all people have simply because they are human. They also argued that it is the responsibility of the government to protect the country from attack by other nations or natural calamities, and that only the government can collect taxes and compel citizen compliance.

Working for the government is a highly respected career path because of the many benefits it provides. In addition to the pay and benefits, a job in the government offers greater job security than jobs in the private sector. This is because the government is less likely to downsize, and in the event it does, employees are usually offered severance packages or other exit incentives. Aside from that, working for the government can be rewarding because you are helping to make a difference in your community.