Government is a system of rules and laws established by adults to manage and oversee the affairs of a group or community. There are many different types of governments, including democracies, republics, monarchies, and dictatorships. Some governments are centralized, others are decentralized. The size and scope of government can vary, too, from a small local community to a global nation-state.
One of the most important roles of any government is making and enforcing rules. Another crucial role is ensuring that all citizens receive basic services such as education, health care, and security. Governments can also manage positive externalities, such as protecting the environment or regulating industry. Finally, governments can be a driving force for economic growth by constructing infrastructure and encouraging businesses to locate in their area.
People have different views about the role of government, and there are deep partisan divides on the subject. Republicans are more likely to think that the government should do less than it does now, while Democrats are more inclined to say that the government should do more. In general, younger adults are more likely than older ones to believe that the government should do more to solve problems.
In a democracy, some people are elected to make the rules that everyone must live by. These people are called politicians. In the United States, this group of politicians is known as Congress. Congress is made up of two chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate. Each state has two senators, and the House of Representatives has 435 members, with each member representing a district in the country. Each of these groups votes on laws, and a law may only become a law if both houses pass it and the President signs it. If a President vetoes a bill, it is up to the Congress to override the veto by a majority of both houses and the President.
Governments are also required to balance their incomes and expenditures. This is done by levying taxes and fees, and borrowing from the public. Most countries create a budget each legislative period, which details the money that the government expects to take in and spend. This budget is then used to guide policymakers.
Lastly, it is the job of the Executive branch to make sure that all of the laws passed by Congress are followed by citizens and businesses. The Executive branch also makes international treaties and agreements. The president is our head of state, and when he talks to other heads of state or leaders of other nations, he represents all of the United States.
The founding fathers of the United States designed a government that is divided into the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches to keep it from becoming too powerful. They wrote that it is impossible to design a system in which all politicians are angels who never seek more power than they should, so the best way to limit their ambition is to give them lots of different ways to compete with each other.