Government is the group of people that governs an organized community, usually a nation. Governments around the world have different goals, but they all strive to accomplish common goals like economic prosperity, national security, and the safety and well-being of citizens. Governments also provide a number of services for their citizens, such as education, health care, and infrastructure for transportation.
The type of government a country has depends on the beliefs and values of its people. Governments can be classified as those of one person (an autocracy, such as a monarchy), a select few people (an oligarchy), or the people as a whole (a democracy). Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.
For example, a democracy is more representative than an oligarchy because the people elect a group of people from among their number to make political decisions for them. This allows the needs and opinions of a majority to be represented, which is impossible in an oligarchy.
A government has the power to tax its citizens and use the revenue generated by this to pay for services. A country can also regulate access to certain resources, such as land, so that only a small amount of it can be used at any given time. Governments can also protect its citizens from invasion by forming armies to fight against foreign enemies.
In addition, governments can promote or restrict specific economic policies based on the values and interests of its people. For example, a country may decide to prohibit the sale of alcohol or to encourage its citizens to save money by offering tax breaks on savings accounts.
Another role of government is to manage negative externalities, or market failures. This involves taking actions to prevent or correct problems that are not easily corrected in the marketplace, such as environmental degradation, overfishing, and global warming. Governments can use their regulatory powers to correct these problems, or they can promote economic growth by investing in specific industries.
Governments also serve as a source of stability for society. This is accomplished by providing many crucial services, including free public education, police and fire departments, and mail delivery. The existence of government helps ensure that these essential goods and services will be available for all, even if private business cannot supply them in large enough quantities or at low enough prices. Governments can also protect citizens from invaders by building army armies and creating plans for attack and defense. Because of their ability to tax, draw upon the resources of a nation, and compel citizen compliance, governments are uniquely suited to protect the nation. This is why the United States has such a strong military and its citizens have peace of mind knowing that their government can defend them from harm. Governments can also protect society by promoting certain moral obligations, such as the obligation to help those less fortunate than yourself. This is not something that businesses can do, as they cannot force people to act out of compassion.