The role of government is to provide the basic systems of society such as a legal system and to deliver public services such as education. As you might expect, there are different views of this role whereby people may feel that the government should take a smaller role or expanded role in certain areas. For example, many developed nations offer universal healthcare but this is not offered in the United States where this is a political issue1. The following are examples of the role of government.
Air and water quality
Birth and death registration
Civil rights protection
Food and drug regulation
Hazardous materials regulation
Health and safety standards
Intellectual property protection
Labor market regulations
Land use management
Law and order
Occupational health and safety
Product and service standards
Protection of rights and freedoms
Providing and protecting public goods such as national parks
Public debt management
Public healthcare services
Public research funding
Public safety and security
Public utility regulation
Regulation of anti-competitive practices
Small business support
Voting rights protection
NotesThe following countries offer universal healthcare: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom2.
There is a tradeoff between government services and taxation levels. In a state with generous public services, taxation may be more burdensome.There can be a tradeoff between government regulations and freedom. However, regulations are also required to preserve freedom. For example, regulation of anti-competitive practices is required to preserve open competitive markets.
A government may regulate many aspects of life whereby some reduction in risk is given as a reason to curtail freedoms. This can be quite contentious.The role of government is greatly expanded in a communist state whereby the government runs the entire economy.
Role Of Government
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References1, 2. "Foreign Countries with Universal Health Care", New York State Department of Health, June 2022.
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