The presence of the government is pervasive in the lives of people in the society. People pay taxes; they have to adhere to regulations set by the government and follow the rules from ones such as simple as traffic lights and complicated ones such as the registration of land and other properties. In a sense, the government controls a lot of the processes in the society and it acts as a regulator of almost all kinds of social, political and economic activities.
There are instances, however, that the control exercised by the government becomes too much. “Too much government” occurs when the government undertakes to centralize the exercise of power and it intervenes in a lot of areas and activities in the society. In developing countries, governments intervene a lot in the economic affairs of the country in the interest of promoting their national products and industries (Mishkin 4).
This power, however, can easily be used by the political elite to achieve economic or political gain at the expense of fair play and just economic practices. Too much government may also be manifested in the political sphere. Unstable countries, particularly in underdeveloped countries usually have this kind of government. In these societies, the government tends to suppress some of the freedoms of the citizens such as the right to assemble or the right to free speech.
In societies where the government exercises tremendous power, especially in the presence of a dictatorship, the initiative of the citizens and the private sector to participate in the political process may be severely limited (Ramos III). In comparison to developed countries, where they have allowed the private sector to develop and their freedoms guaranteed, the result is a more vibrant and dynamic citizenry that participates in all aspect of the society’s life (Ramos II). In developed countries, therefore, citizens participate more because the government allows the exercise of their freedoms.