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Government is a Trust - Essay Example

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Henry Clay's famous quote, "Government is a trust and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people" relays the significance of the role that government should play in the lives of its citizens…
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Government is a Trust
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Government is a Trust Henry Clay's famous quote, "Government is a trust and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people" relays the significance of the role that government should play in the lives of its citizens. It also describes the greatness of a democracy.
The government is a trust because it holds value for the people it governs. It is essentially a bond, a pact, or a commitment between the people and the large inanimate structure of a government body. People put their trust in the government to provide for them when the need arises. These needs can be very different. People depend on the government to provide a good infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and utilities. They also depend on the government to provide a good and stable economy that can provide jobs and housing. Education is an important need that the government helps to fulfill, and the judicial system establishes laws to protect the people. These things are provided for the whole of the people, not just groups or individuals. But the government also provides needs to groups and individuals. Elderly people in the United States depend on the government for Social Security and Medicare to help them survive their senior years. The poor rely on the government to assist them with money, food, and housing when needed so that they too can live.
The trustees of the government are those who are elected by the people. They are endowed with a very important responsibility because their mission is to take the money and services that the Trust contains and be sure that it is distributed properly so that it does indeed benefit all the people who need it. These trustees also have the responsibility of appointing people in the judicial branch of the government, who will make decisions that affect the lives of the people.
But beyond providing tangible needs for the people, the government and its trustees must also provide intangible elements such as trust, ethics, honesty, and values. Without these elements, a government is corrupt and the benefits of the trust will be bestowed upon a few politically connected instead of the entire country. When people elect the trustees they have a certain expectation that those trustees will perform the best to their abilities for the benefit and greater good of the people, and not for the benefit and greater good of themselves or those individuals or groups who are closely connected to them.
Corruption in the government lately has been perceived as commonplace and there has been an erosion of trust between the people and the government and its trustees. Mitchell writes that unlike the private sector where the appearance, or lack of, good ethical practices can have a considerable impact on a company, it does not have the same affect on the government (Mitchell 27) , but what does occur is the mistrust caused by the ethics problems turns into complacency and apathy among the voters who place people in power. In a democracy the people are given a powerful tool-the ability to vote, but instead of grasping that power and using it, often they let it slip away, thereby giving the power to those who are in political office.
The people of a country deserve trustees who have their best interests at heart. They need to be able to count on those trustees bestowing the benefits of that Trust among the people so that a good life can be provided for them. When corruption reigns, important things such as infrastructures, education, and laws fail. People do not benefit from the Trust, and the trustees are not doing the job that they were charged with.
People should have high expectations of their government. They should also have high expectations of the trustees they voted for. When the government, or the trustees, can no longer fulfill their responsibilities then it is time for the people to take back their power and make changes. Read More
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