A government consists of arbitrators, administrators and legislators in the administrative bureaucracy, who control and govern a state or a system at a given time. A government forms a means of formulating the policies of a nation and enforces those policies. Each government has bodies comprised of different individuals, who exercise control over the process of political decision-making. Most governments have legislative, judicial, and executive arms. The arms function independently of one another, being under the management of a president. Government officials in the legislative arm are elected through a general election. Their duty is to formulate rules and regulations that govern a state. The United States has a federal government, in which powers of office holders and government officials are divided between central and regional authority (Ben 11).
The main duty of a government is to secure the freedom and rights of individual citizens. A government can be viewed as a small group of citizens, who have been hired by other citizens to carry out certain functions and discharge authorized responsibilities. Therefore, a government without people has no innate privileges or power to carry out its activities. Its only origin of power and authority comes from people, who elect their leaders. According to the Constitution of the United States, people are the ones who ordain and establish all the guidelines and rules laid out in the constitution. Therefore, a government is responsible for protecting the people who elected it.
A government also has a responsibility of protecting individual citizens from any physical or bodily harm. It does so through its armed forces, such as the army and police. It is the duty of a government to ensure that all citizens are protected. A government maintains a judicial system to ensure justice for all. It also establishes policies, which govern the way people live with one another.
A government acts as a management body, mandated to ensure that all citizens live in peace and safety. Different leaders are elected and given the responsibility of running governments. These leaders manage the funds and resources of a nation. They ensure that the needs of people are always considered, when making significant government decisions (Craig 16).
As with all management bodies, different forms of leadership exist in a government. The four main types of leadership styles include: autocratic, charismatic, democratic, and laissez-faire. An autocratic leader dominates team members and usually makes decisions without consulting them. These leaders are quick to punish and praise their followers. They usually set tasks and timelines before asking for suggestions from their team members or followers. These leaders enhance the productivity of a group, since they make quick decisions and get people to act. However, they slow down the execution of ideas, which do not originate from them. Eventually, it results in greater dependence on the leader, thus hindering the effectiveness of a team. It also causes group hostility, as followers usually disagree with decisions made by their leaders.
Charismatic leadership is another form of leadership used by government officials. Charismatic leaders are committed gatherers of information and listeners. They expose themselves to many different individuals with a view of obtaining new ideas and valuable information. These leaders create a sense of purpose in their governments through their inspiration and motivation. A charismatic leader also uses positive language to encourage and inspire people to pursue their dreams. They tend to use stories, symbols and metaphors get their point across to people. When such leaders are in government, they make all people feel necessary, thus boosting their confidence.
The hallmark of a charismatic leadership is the ability to question the status quo, take risks, and thrive on change and innovation. Charismatic leaders ensure that work is done in a good manner, and all workers are valued and inspired. However, they can create personality cults and make citizens idolize them. They can also wear down citizens, as they push for the realisation of their goals and vision. Charismatic leaders can also be spectacular failures in cases where they talk a lot about development and national progress, yet fail to bring about those changes (Ben 21).
Another leadership style is characteristic of democratic leaders, who make their decisions by consulting their teams, while maintaining control of them. They always delegate their duties and give their team a chance to decide how to perform each duty. When in a government position, a democratic leader motivates citizens to be independent and work on their own. Democratic leaders involve their followers in the process of decision-making. They respect people's needs and consider these needs when making decisions. Because of the involvement of their team, democratic leaders require a lot of time to make a decision. This results in considerably low productivity levels, when compared to other leaders. They also appear to be unsure of themselves, as they always consult with the group on all matters. Democratic leaders allow individuals to be responsible by constantly involving them in discussions and decision-making processes. They also provide a solid base for implementation of strategies and policies. Democratic leaders also motivate people, thus leading to productivity in the long run.
Another form of leadership is laissez-faire. A laissez-faire leader performs extremely minimal leadership roles. When in government, this leader allows citizens to define their own roles and responsibilities. A laissez-faire leader also allows citizens to do their own jobs in their own ways without interference. The laissez-faire method of leadership is usually applicable when followers are highly motivated and skilled people, who have produced results in the past. A laissez-faire leader allows his/her team to work without interference. These leaders rarely generate resentment, because they allow people to make their own decisions and be independent. They also empower people to make their own decisions (Craig 17).
In the United States, the laissez-faire method of leadership would be the most effective method of governance. The Constitution of the United States aims to protect the rights and freedoms of all the citizens. The laissez-faire method of governance would, therefore, guarantee freedom to all citizens without exception. Laissez-faire leaders do not impose rules which are not popular with people. They refrain from what is wrong and let people determine what is best for them. According to the constitution, all citizens have a right and freedom of choice. Any citizen can choose to do any activity, provided it does not endanger the lives of fellow citizens. In the laissez-faire method of leadership, a government allows all citizens to exercise their freedom of choice without any restrictions. The government gives all the constitutional rights to its citizens and only punishes those, who endanger the lives of other citizens (Sheldon 13).
Recently, the federal government has made a decision to take away obese kids from their parents. It has done this in response to the epidemic of obesity that has attacked the country. Claiming that their health was in jeopardy, the government removed severely obese children from their homes. The federal state then requested the court to give orders that would allow the obese children to be held by the state. This decision denies American children their rights. The government took control of a situation that was supposed to be monitored by the children’s parents. The mother of an eight year-old obese child, who was taken forcefully to a foster home, was also denied a constitutional right. According to the Constitution of the United States, every citizen has a right to a fair trial before a court of law. Therefore, the mother of the child should have been allowed to exercise her right in a court of law.
According to the federal government, the obese children were taken to foster homes to help them reduce their weight. However, the government took control of the situation in a dictatorial manner. It did not consider the rights of children and exercised excessive controlling in handling the obesity epidemic. The children were exposed to other dangers when they were taken away from their parents. When taken to foster care, they suffered emotional and psychological trauma. Being in foster care they earn less money, experience behavioural disorders and have higher chances of becoming delinquents, as compared to children living in their homes. Therefore, the federal government imposed more risks on the obese children when it removed them from their homes. It substituted the dangers of obesity with psychological disorders (Ben 17).
The government took excessive control in a situation it could have addressed in a different manner. Instead of making their lives better, it inflicted pain on both mothers and their children. The federal government also denied the mother the freedom of choice. It did not let the mothers choose whether to take their obese children to foster homes or let them recover in the comfort of their homes. It chose to split up families, whereas it was supposed to encourage togetherness. The government also denied the children freedom to choose how much to eat. It should have advised and encouraged citizens to practise healthy eating behaviours, and refrained from imposing rules on obese children.
The laissez-faire method of governance would enable the parents to have a chance to pick the best option for their children. The fact that parents cannot knowingly or maliciously feed their children to become obese, was overlooked by the federal government. Therefore, the taking up of these obese kids can be compared to abduction. It has no moral right to forcefully take children away from their parents. It also placed the children in the care of foster homes and used tax payer’s money for their upkeep. This can be viewed as a misuse of taxes that citizens work so hard to pay. The government unwillingly took up the obese children, a practice that would impossible under laissez-faire (Ben 15).
In another legislation, the government made the wearing of seat belts mandatory to all passengers and drivers. Undoubtedly, the use of seat belts reduces rates of death from car accidents. Therefore, this can be viewed as a strong reason for making use of seat belts mandatory in the United States. The US citizens think about many things that can improve their lives, e.g. healthy eating. However, the government does not make such things mandatory for use. For instance, the government has never made healthy eating compulsory. Therefore, the government uses excessive control when it makes use of seat belts mandatory to all citizens.
Mandatory use of seatbelts denies individuals the right to choose for themselves. Despite the government’s noble intentions to ensure safety of its citizens, it exercised excessive control by making the use of seat belts mandatory. It lacked the moral right to ensure safety of individual through forceful use of seat belts. The government went one step further by fining individuals for not wearing seatbelts when driving, which is infringing on individual liberty. Consequently, a law purported to to save lives ended up making profits for the government.
By enforcing the mandatory seatbelt rule, the government denied the US citizens their primary right of choice. Every American has a right to choose the best way to take care of his/her own life, which is a right many Americans have fought hard to achieve. The government has no right to dictate its citizens how they should live. In a laissez-faire form of government, citizens are allowed to make decisions without being hindered by the state. The state only lays down a plan and advises people what to do, leaving citizens to decide on a necessary choice.
The US government has also exercised excessive control in its regulation of immigrants. The Founding Fathers had a vision of an America, which would be open to receive not only the respectable and opulent, but also the persecuted and oppressed from all religions and nations. However, this dream has been destroyed by the modern government that has made the rules hostile to immigrants. Most immigrants are denied entry into the United States, while those, who are allowed in, enter the country via quotas and lotteries. Immigration to the United States, the land of liberty, is denied by law. This prohibition is immoral, as it denies immigrants the basic principle of individual rights.
The US government has a responsibility of protecting its citizens. Its duty is to protect the US citizens from any external harm that may be caused by immigrants. However, the government only has a moral right to use force to those who use it or in retaliation. It has no moral right to initiate the use of force against citizens or non-citizens, be it outside or within its borders, for any reason. When the government denies immigrants a chance to relocate and live in the Unites States, it commits a moral crime. The government unjustly denies immigrants a right to share and enjoy the American dream. It exercises excessive control of power that violates the rights of immigrants (Craig 22).
Another example of excessive use of power and infringement of individual rights was when Michael Bloomberg, the New York City mayor, proposed a ban on large sugary drinks. The mayor said that this would help curb the obesity epidemic. The ban targeted all fountain drinks and bottled soda, which had more than 25 calories of sugar per eight ounces. The idea of banning large drinks is morally acceptable, as it will help curb an epidemic that is spreading on a daily basis. However, the ban will violate individual rights of all citizens. As stated earlier, all the US citizens have a right to decide what to eat and when to eat it. It is not the government's duty to decide for people what to eat. The ban also infringes on the choices of the consumer, as it is possible to take two soft drinks at a go that contain as much sugar as a large soda. The ban is, therefore, unfounded, as it violates the rights of the US citizens.
In another incidence, the government was willing to introduce DNA databases for all citizens. The process was aimed at making identification of criminals easy, especially during court cases. It would also help identify many unidentified bodies recovered in different states. The database would also be used to identify genetic permutations. The correlations would be used to find cures for genetic diseases, thus preventing or correcting those diseases. However, the introduction of government databases would constitute an invasion of privacy of the US citizens, as it would be providing the government with surplus information. The database would probably have no importance to the society and would just waste the taxpayer’s money.
The monopolising of some institutions by the government inhibits free market principles. The postal services are monopolised by the United States government, and any citizen willing to provide postal services is barred from doing so by the law. Therefore, the government forces the US citizens to use only one medium of exchange. This has resulted in poor services and high prices, since there is no competition. The government has also monopolised the use of the United States currency. Only one medium of exchange, the dollar, exists. The monopoly has enabled the government to acquire billions of dollars by confiscating them from the US citizens. The other government monopoly is public schools. The government directs students in some states on schools they should attend. When a private school is established, the curriculum that it uses must be approved by the government.
The use of monopolies by the government is a form of oppression and dictatorship. Monopolies deny free market a chance to bloom and grow. They also violate the rights of individuals to do business in their own country, and deny them better services enhanced by the existence of competition. The currency monopoly has led to inflation, which would not be experienced if citizens had the ability to engage in free trade and used their own currency. Better education systems would also be established if the government did not monopolise the education system. Competition would ensure that American children acquire better education in their country.
The government should respect the rights of its citizens. It can achieve this by taking consistent actions in all areas where significant progress is possible. The US government should liquidate all monopolies including public schools and postal services. Other polices, such as the eminent domain, should also be abolished to ensure that the rights of all citizens are upheld. It is through the joint efforts of the government that the concept of a free society will be achieved. Laissez-faire will ensure that all citizens can enjoy their rights without government interference. It will also ensure that the American Dream, as predicted by the Founding Fathers, is achieved.