Government’s Function, and the Public Who Doesn’t Know What It Is


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Government is not an abstract thing. While we have ideological differences and debates over the role of government, the services and jobs it does are not philosophical. To the people effected, they are serious issues.

Too many people in America don’t realize the things they get from the government. When they drive on a road or bridge, that is government. When a police man patrols their neighborhood, that is government. When Wall Street is having a bad day, there are triggers to shut the place down if need be, and protect life savings. Your child’s school is government. A hunting or fishing license is government, as is the stocked stream the fish are in. Fire fighters are government. Military is government. The guarantee that your bank won’t steal your money and run away leaving you pennyless is the government. The safe food on your table is government. Government is insuring so much of our way of life. Much of the time we don’t even realize it.

America is still a great nation. Our society still generally works, and our nation is still generally safe. When we have philosophical arguments about big and small government, we’re ignoring the fact that we need government to function. Maybe if the public got what government actually does, maybe they’d want to make sure it works.

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