Government and Society

What government can do

Governments provide public services like healthcare and education

They support people who are living in poverty or unable to work

Governments raise money by taxing working people

They can spend money on resources and campaigns

They can introduce new laws

They can impose taxes

They can raise people’s awareness of issues (e.g climate change/healthy eating)

They can influence people’s habits and opinions

They can create jobs

They can regulate the activities of companies such as banks

They can provide resources for schools

They are also responsible for the security and well-being of their citizens

They control armed forces and police forces


Public services

Governments pay the salaries of public sector workers like police officers and teachers

The necessary money is raised by taxing people’s income

Free education and healthcare may be provided by the state

Some governments control public transport systems and even TV channels

In other countries, these services are provided by private companies

Some people believe that competition between private companies is good

It helps to improve quality while bringing prices down

Other people think that essential services should be free

Governments should pay for them


Censorship: Opinion

Governments can censor what public sees or reads in the media

To a certain extent censorship is necessary

We should use censorship to protect children from violent images

Some computer games involve killing people or committing crimes

The Internet also needs to be controlled

Many websites show pornography and violence

There should be age limits for websites and computers games

Parents need to take responsibility for checking what their children watch

It is impossible for governments to control everything we see

Video cameras in public places

The use of CCTV is becoming widespread

Video cameras have been installed in many public places

They are supposed to protect us and deter criminals

Many people think that this surveillance violates our privacy

The authorities could build databases with our pictures and identities

We should not be treated like criminals


Smart cards: Positives

Governments will probably introduce a digital identification card system

Smart cards will have benefits and drawbacks

They could help to reduce crime

They could hold personal information, such as DNA

Digital bank cards could contain fingerprint information

It would be very difficult for criminals to use a stolen card

It would be easier for police to identify people and catch criminals


Smart cards: Negatives

Many people are worried about losing their privacy

Governments could store all our personal and medical information

This information could be used by insurance companies

Employers could check our health records


People with Disabilities

People with disabilities should be treated the same as everybody else

They should have the same rights as other people

They should have access to the same jobs as other citizens

Discriminations against disabled people is illegal in many countries

Ramps and lifts for wheelchairs should be installed in public buildings

Support teacher can be employed to help children with learning difficulties