Civics Today Citizenship, Economics, & You
Government and the Economy
One important role that government plays is that of providing goods and services that private businesses do not provide. These public goods include things like public parks, public libraries, museums, and highways. The government may also intervene in mergers that threaten competition and may create laws to ensure consumer safety. The government also monitors the growth of the economy. By studying economic indicators such as Gross Domestic Product, the unemployment rate, and the consumer price index (CPI), the government determines whether the economy is in a period of expansion or recession. In order for all citizens to enjoy a reasonable standard of living, the government encourages people to improve their education. Laws are passed that seek to eliminate discrimination. Many government programs have been designed to help people in need.