Government is the group of adults who decide the rules that we all must live by, and makes sure those rules are followed. Government also judges any disputes about the rules. Government is made up of the people who run it, and the institutions that support them. In the United States, this includes the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The founding fathers designed our system with the goal of making sure it would work well.
The main job of the government is to provide stability and goods and services for its citizens. At the local level, this means things like police and fire departments. At the national level, it means military protection and support for basic needs such as food, housing, and health care. Government provides these services by taxing people and raising funds to pay for them. It then divides the money into different areas to be spent on specific projects. The money comes from taxes on income, property, and sales.
The other jobs of the government are to make laws to protect its citizens, and to regulate business in order to ensure fairness. The laws are made by legislative bodies such as city councils, state legislatures, and Congress. Government regulations help keep businesses honest and fair, but also prevent companies from harming the environment or endangering public safety. These include laws such as those requiring safety tests of cars and food, and limits on toxic gases and chemicals in the air.
A final function of government is to protect common goods, such as natural resources and wildlife. The government must be able to take action in case some people use them up too fast or damage them. The government can control these goods by setting limits on how many people may use them, and by preserving natural resources for future generations.
Government can protect these goods by establishing parks, wildlife refuges, and other natural preserves. They can also control land and water usage, and limit fishing and hunting. It is important to preserve these common goods because they are vital for the survival of humanity.
A political science field called government studies is concerned with understanding how governments work, and what their goals are. There are several types of government, such as monarchy, oligarchy, democracy (direct or representative), autocracy, communism, and socialism. These systems of government are referred to by a number of terms, such as a political typology or taxonomy.