Government is the system that assigns and distributes power in a society. Governments set policies to accomplish goals and provide benefits that the entire society requires, such as economic prosperity and secure borders. There are many different forms of governments around the world, from democratic republics to totalitarian regimes and various hybrid systems in between. The types of government are dictated primarily by culture and history.
The primary function of government is to provide stability for its citizens, as well as vital services like free public education, police and fire protection, mail delivery, and housing assistance. Governments also regulate access to common goods, such as land, so that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy them. This includes providing a structure where people can make their needs and opinions known to their public officials, as opposed to an oligarchy in which only a small group controls decisions.
In addition to the obvious social and economic services, governments also create laws that help protect citizens from predators and criminals. Governments often use taxes to fund these programs and laws, as well as the military and national defense. In addition, they may use debt and bounties to stimulate economic growth.
Business leaders frequently complain about the role of government, accusing them of creating and enforcing rules that are impediments to profits, economic efficiency, and job creation. However, government rules can also be a friend to businesses by providing them with financial and advisory services and enforcing consumer-protection and worker-safety laws.
The government is a complex organism, and the size and scope of its responsibilities cannot be easily reduced. Government bodies have a responsibility to harness ideas and resources that will help address the many problems that are constantly emerging in any society. These problems can appear miniscule in the overall scheme of things, but they must be addressed to preserve social cohesion and stability.
Governing a large, diverse population is an inherently challenging task. It is essential to balance the competing demands of liberty and security. In order to protect liberty, the government must limit how much it allows law enforcement agencies to intrude into the lives of its citizens. This can include tapping phones and restricting what newspapers may publish. It can also mean limiting the ability to enter private property without permission.
A variety of government programs are available to assist people with buying a home, including mortgage refinance and down payment assistance, as well as counseling on topics related to homeownership. In addition, the federal government administers a number of food assistance programs.
The Constitution states that bills must be passed by both houses of Congress to become a law. Once the bills have identical wording, a conference committee is formed with members of both chambers to create a final bill that is sent back to each house for approval. Congress can also impeach government officials if it believes they have committed a crime or have demonstrated poor performance.