The Government's Effect on Everyday Life
Most Americans, including myself don’t truly know all the details of how we encounter the Government every single day. People honestly don’t know how the government works at all and how it benefits us. According to CNN Editor Chris Cillizza, “ One in three (33%) can’t name any branch of government.” That’s a strong statement because how would Americans know what the government does for them, if they don’t even know how it works or anything about it. I even failed to realize how government policies and programs really enhance our daily lives. If you are an American that believes that the government does nothing for you then you are going to be very surprised!
Most of us wake up in the morning due to hearing your alarm clock or your phone's alarm going off. We are so used to that so we don’t think much of it. What we don’t realize is the National Institute of Standards and Technology keeps the official time. This is an agency established by Congress in the 1900’s! Now let’s think about after we wake up go to our bathrooms to brush our teeth with clean water and use and flush our toilets. The clean water we have available to us is provided by the government. The Clean Water Act regulates any pollutants into the waters of the United States and it regulates the quality standards of those waters. Next you want to get ready and dressed for that day but want to be prepared for the weather. You can easily check on your phone's weather app or tune into the news to hear what the weather forecast will be like for that day and even the following days. You are able to do this because the National Weather Service, a government agency is tasked with finding weather and climate data. They also warn you for any hurricanes, snow storms, tornados, etc. They keep you safe and informed about what is to come when it comes to weather. Once you are ready to go, you get in your car and you start driving out of your neighborhood. You don’t think much of it but you are safe in that vehicle because of the government's laws and regulations. You have a seat belt to protect you, air bags to make sure you are safe if you crash, and traffic laws to aid in preventing you from crashing in the first place. In order to keep you and others safe, each person who drives must have a driver’s license that ensures that they know the rules and how to be safe on the road. The government also requires that each driver has insurance on their vehicles as well to make sure that your accidents are covered. I feel like without these rules, I would not feel safe to drive around without fear of getting hurt. These are just some things that we do naturally everyday without realizing how much of a privilege it is to have.
Something people do everyday is eat. We eat whether it is a home cooked meal with ingredients purchased from the grocery store or if it is at a fast food restaurant. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) all serve a huge role and that is to guarantee the safety of Americans. They all make sure that the food we consume is safe so we can prevent food illnesses. There are even state programs that make sure there is surveillance and inspections done to ensure that restaurants are abiding by these food regulation rules.
Most Americans need to work to be able to provide for themselves or their families. We work to get paid. The government ensures that there is federal minimum wage so most states do not receive a pay that is less than that. There are also state minimum wages that take in consideration the higher cost of living in certain area. The government also takes taxes out of your paycheck to help pay for programs such as Medicare. Personally, Medicare is something me and my family have relied on for years. I have always had a primary care doctor provided free or of low cost by medicare. I know these programs benefit people like me. Another thing that the government ensures in the workplace is our safety. There are many laws that protect us from being mistreated at work. The Occupational Safety and Health Act which is administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration makes sure that our workplace is safe, free from any serious hazards. They enforce these regulations by making sure they have regular inspections in the workplace.
I think it is easy to say that the government does nothing for us because we don’t really notice all of the little things we have. Even the bigger things are often looked over by Americans. I think this is guided by the mistrust that Americans have in the government which is understandable. I think it is important to sometimes evaluate our daily activities and see how completely insane and most definitely unsafe our daily lives would be without the help of our government. They do more than we think!