The Ubiquity of Government

Imagine it is 4 PM on a Friday in early June.

You worked hard all week. The boss let you leave early. You put a pizza in the microwave, grab an ice-cold beer, and plop down on your front porch to enjoy your early dinner and check out what’s happening in the neighborhood.

The last thing you are thinking about—the last thing you see—is government.

You are certainly not thinking about the three big “D” questions. First: What should government do? Second: How should government get the dollars it needs to operate? Third: What’s the best way to deliver government?

Yet government is everywhere. It is hiding from you in plain sight. It’s so obvious you don’t observe it. It’s so invisible you can’t tell it’s there. But it’s a big deal in your life, because it is everywhere.

Spy thrillers like to make us imagine that a hidden government is secretly manipulating the world from a bunker under the Rocky Mountains or a fortress floating above the Arctic ice cap.

But the real hidden government is everywhere. It’s right in front of you, unnoticed.  Take a closer look ->

To get another picture of just how American government is both pervasive and hidden—and to help you assess what you really think it should do—take the Government Quiz. Take the quiz ->