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Over the years, I have heard clichés such as “It is your duty to vote”, “Men and women have died to grant you the right” and “If you do not vote, then you have nothing to complain about”. I do not disagree with any of these proclamations, but I have always desired to understand how my government affects my life.
The government of the United States of America has a significant influence on my life today. This has been elaborated by my recent experiences in America which have taught me to respect my government.
First of all, the government influences the place where I live. Whether you live in a big city or in a small town, the national government of America makes laws for the whole country. In addition, every state has a government. The laws are made to determine right and wrong in the society and how a person is generally expected to behave. Cities and towns in America have courts to take care of cases. Our local governments set speed limits. Laws are also made to keep people's property secure and control noise. When one breaks one of the laws, the court gives the penalty. Thus national and local governments work to ensure that the people who live in cities or towns are safe. This means that my sense of safety is directly assured by the government.
The issue of safety is further elaborated by police officers or fire fighters. The job of these professionals is to help keep me safe. They are my friends. Police officers fight crime in addition to enforcing laws. Fire fighters assure me that I do not have to worry about fires and accidents. They are trained to handle that. What about the soldiers? They just killed the dreaded Osama Bin Laden the other day. America now feels safer to live in. The government pays salaries and provides other welfare services for these professionals. The importance of these jobs to my community cannot be overemphasized.
The US government provides public education to me. Education is chiefly a local and state responsibility in America.The state and communities, in addition to private and public organizations, establish colleges and schools, develop the curricula, and provide what is required for entering and graduation. A view of the education finance structure in the US reflects the principal state and local role. For example, $1.13 trillion is the estimated amount being spent countrywide on education of all levels (for 2010-2011 school year). A vast majority of this comes from the state and local sources. That which comes from private sources has to be approved by the government (U.S. Department of Education, 2011). This emphasizes the important role of the government in the provision of education. In addition, the government may also give scholarships to students. Students sometimes get federal scholarships which must be accredited by a body recognized by the US Department of Education.
The government provides recreational facilities to its citizens. There are parks all over the US where I can sit and relax without any bothering whatsoever. Government gymnasiums, zoos, stadiums are galore in many states. Life is thus not boring in the US thanks to the effectiveness of the US government in caring for me.
America boosts of the large and widely recognized civil rights organizations. An example is NAACP, whose more than five hundred thousand supporters and members throughout America and the whole world strongly advocate for civil rights in communities. Their campaigns for giving an equal opportunity, conducting mobilization of voters and fighting racism have made America a better place to live. However, much credit goes to the government for permitting such organizations to function. The government was responsible for passing laws prohibiting vices like racism. I therefore see the effect of the government in my day-to-day life, as now I am not judged by the color of my skin but the content of my character.
In conclusion, it is noted from the discussion above that the government influences my life in many ways. It influences the place where and the way how I live, what law I must abide by, it directs my education, gives me recreational facilities, and assures the protection of my rights and privileges. This has taught me to always respect my government.