Government � PAGE �1�
The Role of Government
Soc 120: Intro to Ethics & Social Responsibility
Instructor Don Frey
April 22, 2009
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness... it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."(Thomas Jefferson; original Declaration of Independence)
The role of the government is to provide an organized society, but it also provides an enforceable set of moral and ethical values which control the functioning of our society. Our forefathers wrote within the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights a code of moral values. They formed this government to have power, but not too much power. To accomplish this they wrote in articles that limited the use of the power given to the government. By doing this they enabled the citizens of this country to remain free and not have to worry about the government having too much power or control over their lives. The constitution was written with language that gives power to certain parts of the government and denies power to other parts. It also guarantee's the right of individuals by providing that the government rules that must be followed. A system of checks and balances was implemented to insure that equal power is maintained.
Thomas Paine wrote that "rights are not gifts from one man to another nor from one class of men to another... it is impossible to discover any origin of rights otherwise than in the origin of man; it consequently follows that rights appertain to man in right of his existence, and must therefore be equal to every man." The origin of human rights are either given by God or granted by the government. If you are on the side that human rights are granted by the government you must also be willing to accept that those same rights be declined.
I would like to believe that we live in a society where every man is created equal but that is just not the truth. Generations and generations of people are born, go through government paid schooling, get mediocre jobs and live pay check to pay check not ever catching a break. Then you get those people that are lucky. Everything is handed to them and they never have to worry about how they are going to pay their bills the next month. The generation that I have grown up in is very selfish. It is all about what you don't have. They (the people in the generation) think everything should be handed to them and do not know what an honest days pay is. Many people that I know are on subsidized living or welfare. In some cases it is understandable but, when an able bodied person is receiving more money a month from the government than a person with a stable job, something is wrong with that. More attention needs to be paid to the people receiving these services.
The debate is simple, but the argument on welfare's benefits and drawbacks is not. On the pro side of the argument, welfare aids poor families and the economy. These families receive food stamps or ebt cards with a certain amount of money calculated by income and number of family members in the household, to purchase food items. Some also receive cash to help with rent and utilities. Welfare hopefully will aid the future economy by allowing children of welfare recipients to attend school and strive for excellence instead of depending on welfare.
On the contrary, welfare is currently a government expense that is paid for by tax payers. The purpose of welfare is to aid a person with monetary needs until they can find a job to support themselves unfortunately, this seldom happens. Some argue that there are plenty of poor families that get by just fine without...
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