A government is a group or unit of people ruling over a society, usually a country. The head of government is called the president or prime minister and typically holds the reins of power in a country. Governments often have the power to tax, borrow money and issue laws and regulation. They also provide services like education and welfare and keep the country safe from threats or danger. All countries have a form of government, although the structure can vary greatly from country to country.
All governments provide services to citizens of the nation; however, not all citizens share these same services. A country’s government provides public goods or services to its people. For example, public education in the United States is provided by state and local governments. Schools, roads, healthcare and transportation are all services that are provided by public goods or services from the government. In other words, all citizens have access to the same set of public goods and services regardless of their income level.
A government that provides public goods and services is referred to as a democratic government. A government that leaves the citizenry to fend for themselves via a decentralized economy is referred to as a capitalist or centrally planned economy. A highly decentralized system of economic system results in a loss of individual freedom. It also results in lessened protection of individual rights. This is why most modern constitutions guarantee the right to free speech and to peacefully assemble.
Private property was one of the main attractions to America’s founding fathers. They came to America to escape the aristocratic rule of European nations and to build an independent nation where they could prosper without the threat of foreign influence. America’s founders wanted a capitalist economy that would make decisions based on individual merit rather than wealth. They wanted an economy where individuals could make decisions that would benefit them rather than the banks and large corporations.
America’s problem with capitalism is not that it destroys the natural rights of citizens. The problem is that it does not allow citizens the freedom to make decisions for themselves. Without a properly functioning economic system, a small group of wealthy individuals can take over and control the process so that it benefits only them. This is why elected representatives are not really serving the interests of the citizens of this country.
A true, free-market capitalism is what would be best for the general welfare of the masses. However, those who wish to exercise their natural rights will not have it unless they elect legitimate representatives to the national governments. Elected representatives, like anyone else who seeks power, must work to make laws that benefit all Americans rather than just the people who elect them. Otherwise they will not be allowed to make laws in the future. This is how an authentic free market works.