Lecture 1/22 Government and Politics Government : The institutions and procedures that rule over a specific territory or people. • Governments make legitimate use of coercion and force. We give up some of our rights in exchange for the government's protection. This is in the hope that it will prevent private citizens from using coercion or force on each other (prevent individual conflict). • Government provides public goods. These are goods that would likely not exist because of incentive problems in the private sector. Parks would not be built by private companies because it's too difficult to turn a profit from doing so because of the impossibility of exclusion of people who have not paid into the system. Highways and schools used to be completely public goods, but have recently become privatized in some instances. • Government implements decisions reached through politics Politics : The process by which advantages and disadvantages are distributed. Who gets what, when, and how? And who pays to provide it?
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