Why do we have governments? Most governments provide goods and services to their citizens, maintain public safety, and allow citizens to participate in their government and voice their opinions to those in power. In western democracies, people are protected from government tyranny by the rule of law and freedom of speech. They also vote for their leaders, and a majority of the population can participate in deciding which laws are best for their community. However, this does not mean that governments can never be necessary.
Despite the many benefits of government, it is still necessary to understand its role in society. Many of the public goods provided by governments are free. Examples include education and national security. No private corporation can create a national defense plan, pay for military personnel, or provide intelligence. Only government can provide these benefits and services to the people and draw upon the resources of an entire nation. In this sense, the role of government is fundamental in society. Whether you think of it as the government’s job or your job, it is a vital part of our society.
While many individuals disagree with the role of government in social policy, it is clear that the concept is important. In the United States, many programs created by the New Deal provided relief to those in need through jobs, payments, and food. In the 1960s, Lyndon Johnson enacted “Great Society” programs with the goal of eliminating poverty in the United States. Meanwhile, many European countries have national medical insurance and comprehensive welfare benefits. Yet many Americans decry the government’s welfare programs as expensive and destructive.
Another important role of government is to protect its citizens. It forms an efficient police force, a fair court system, and a robust defense force to provide protection and security for citizens. In addition to these, it builds infrastructure and provides civic amenities. Ultimately, government is a key component in the country’s economy. It must maintain foreign reserves and regulate its economy. It also promotes foreign investment. These are just a few of the functions of a government.
Federalism is a system of government in which sovereignty is divided between a central governing authority and individual members, called “federal” or “states.” Among the different types of government, federalism is based on the principles of democracy. Under federalism, the power to govern is shared between a national governing authority and a set of subordinate governments called “provincials.”
Attitudes towards government continue to vary depending on partisanship. Republicans tend to be generally positive, assessing government performance in areas such as terrorism, natural disasters, and the economy, and are negatively biased toward the government’s management of the immigration system. Meanwhile, Democrats are generally negative. Only 18 percent of Democrats are positive about government responses to public health threats. The study also found that more Americans are distrustful of their government than they are of their own political party.