The Three Levels of Government

Government is the system through which a country or other political entity exercises control and performs functions. It may take the form of a monarchy, an oligarchy, a democracy (direct or indirect), an autocracy, a socialist state, or a republic. Governments regulate both public and private life, though many laws govern only the former. Governments create laws and enforce them. They establish and maintain the social order, protect individuals’ property, provide public goods, and secure a nation’s borders. They also provide services that are needed by society as a whole such as education, health care, and a safe place to live.

Governments are often criticized for their corruption, abuse of power, and failure to meet the needs of society. They are also criticized for their inefficiency, ineffectiveness, and the fact that they are often run by special interest groups or moneyed interests. However, people need the protection that governments offer and it is for this reason that they exist.

Most governments establish and enforce rules that regulate the activities of their citizens, including those who are in public service. These rules help ensure that those who are in government do not do harm to others and do what is right. Governments protect their citizens from foreign invasions by providing a military. They protect citizens’ health and safety by regulating food and water. Governments also protect their citizens’ property by ensuring that those who own property do not destroy it or use it for illegal purposes. Governments also provide a means for citizens to participate in their democracy by giving them the freedom of speech and assembly.

The United States is a democratic republic with a Constitution. The three levels of government – national, state and local – are often described as a ladder. The national level, framed by the Constitution, is at the top of the ladder. The next rung is the state level where elected representatives speak on our behalf. The local level is the third rung where city councils and township boards of supervisors govern. The local level cannot pass laws that conflict with the decisions/laws of the national or state levels.

Each level of government has its own set of rules and regulations. For example, there are different rules for a school board than for a county council. A federal agency has its own set of rules as well, and its employees must comply with those rules. The government is a complex entity and the rules are constantly changing. For this reason, it is important that young people become familiar with the basic functions and structures of the government. This will enable them to make informed choices on how they want their government to operate in the future. It is also important that they understand that they must participate in their democracy if they are to have a voice in the process. This can be done by voting in elections, participating in civic organizations or joining a club and taking action for the issues they believe are important.