Government 101


Government is the system of rules and laws that adults create to organize their societies. It is also the means for them to accomplish collective goals and provide benefits that the society as a whole needs. The types of goals and benefits that governments work to achieve are varied, but they commonly include economic prosperity for a nation, secure national borders, and safety and security for citizens. Governments also usually work to make sure that the people they serve have access to basic goods and services like education and health care.

In the United States, there are three major branches of the federal government: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. The founding fathers of the United States designed this system based on principles of how they believed government should be run. They emphasized the importance of checks and balances, which help to limit the power of any one branch.

It is the responsibility of the United States government to protect the lives, property, and freedoms of its citizens. This includes keeping a strong military to protect the country against attack and providing police services to deter crime. The United States government also provides many social programs for its citizens, including health insurance, welfare benefits, and assistance to the poor. These programs are sometimes controversial, as some believe that government should not provide such extensive aid to those who can afford to take care of themselves.

Most of the people who govern the United States are elected by the citizens to serve in various roles. This is called democracy. The Constitution of the United States sets forth how these representatives are to be selected, what they can do while in office, and how they will be held accountable to their constituents. The Constitution also describes the way in which money is allocated for different purposes at the state and national levels. These include maintenance of roads and bridges, funding for universities, and management of national parks.

Congress is responsible for establishing an annual budget for the entire United States government. To fund this budget, it levies taxes and tariffs, and may authorize borrowing to make up for shortfalls. Congress can also direct spending for specific purposes, which are called earmarks. For example, if a business is polluting the environment, it is likely that the Environmental Protection Agency will punish them.

Governments are designed to solve problems that are too big for individual businesses or individuals to tackle on their own. For instance, private companies can’t afford to subsidize everyone who wants to take a flight, but government can. Another problem that is too large for individual consumers to tackle is pollution of the air and water by businesses. However, this type of problem can be solved by government regulation that requires the businesses to pay for a certain level of clean air and water. Governments may also impose restrictions on monopolies and cartels to promote open markets that maximize the gains from trade.