What Does a Government Do?


A government is the group of people that rules a country, or part of one. A government has many responsibilities, including making laws, protecting citizens’ rights, and providing goods and services. Each government has its own rules and ways of doing things. Governments can be local, state, national or international. A country’s government is determined by its Constitution, which sets out the modality of designation, missions and the powers granted to its members.

Governments have different structures and sizes, but most modern nations have a leader who is elected by the citizens of the nation, a legislative branch that makes laws, and a judiciary to make sure that laws are enforced fairly. In some countries, all of these functions are combined in a single person or small group of people. Most governments also have some type of law enforcement, which is usually a police force or other security agency.

The United States government, for example, has three branches: Congress, the Executive branch and the Judicial branch. The founding fathers of the United States designed this system because they wanted to be sure that the government was fair and equal. Separating these responsibilities allows each branch to check on the others, which helps prevent them from acting too quickly or unfairly. This is called the “system of checks and balances.”

Most modern governments try to limit their power, while guaranteeing citizens’ rights. For example, western democracies protect citizens’ freedom of speech and the press. They also have a bill of rights that outlines the basic rights of citizens. In addition, many governments provide economic freedom, which includes the right to own property and start businesses. Governments also help citizens with problems and emergencies by providing fire departments, police, schools, transportation, health care and food.

While some of these services are available through private companies, government is the only entity that can tax its citizens to fund these services. Governments also have the ability to protect common goods that all citizens may use freely but are limited in quantity and/or cost. Examples of these are national security and education.

In addition, working for the government can be more secure than jobs in the private sector because, unlike some businesses, governments do not close or downsize during an economic downturn. This job stability is often attractive to young people who are just starting their careers. Additionally, many government jobs offer flexible work schedules, which can help a person achieve a better work/life balance.