A government is a system that rules an organized community, usually a nation. It includes a set of laws and policies that provide stability and security. It also provides people with valuable services like police and fire departments, roads, public education, and health care. Some of these services may be free, but many are not. Governments also regulate businesses to protect people and the environment. For example, the government might ban chemicals that are harmful to people or wildlife, such as DDT and PCBs. In return for these protections, people pay taxes to fund the government.
In the United States, we have a government of three branches: the legislative branch (which makes laws) is called Congress; the executive branch enforces those laws and consists of the president and people who report to him; and the judicial branch evaluates laws and judges any conflicts between them. This is known as the system of checks and balances.
The founding fathers designed our government to make sure that no one person or group had too much power. So they created the Constitution, which breaks down the government into three branches: the Legislative Branch (which makes laws), the Executive Branch (which enforces those laws) and the Judicial Branch (which evaluates laws). The founders also made sure that the people could change their government by voting in elections.
People have a lot of different ideas about what kind of government is best for their country. Some think that a government should only have the power to protect people and the environment, while others think that it should do more. But most people agree that the government should be fair and not discriminate against any citizen.
Most governments are made up of a mix of political parties, which organize and promote candidates for the various jobs in the government. The most successful parties win a large number of seats in the parliament or legislature and control the government.
While there are many different types of government around the world, the most common include democracies, totalitarian regimes and authoritarian ones. These are not mutually exclusive, and some countries have hybrid systems of both democracies and dictatorships.
Six in seven households receive some kind of government benefit, according to a new study. The benefits can range from food stamps and unemployment insurance to Medicare and Social Security.
The most popular benefit is food assistance, with more than a quarter of families receiving it. Another big benefit is cash assistance for housing, utilities and other expenses. People also get help with paying for child care and prescription drugs.
In addition to these direct forms of aid, the federal government provides indirect forms of support such as low-interest mortgages and tax credits for child care. State governments provide even more indirect forms of aid, such as special education programs and school lunches. These indirect forms of aid may not be as popular, but they are just as important for society to function.