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Size of economic footprint
The scale to which government should exist and operate in the world is a matter of debate. Government spending in developed countries varies considerably but generally makes up between about 30% and 70% of their GDP. One major exception is the United States, where central government spending takes up less than 20% of GDP, although the combined spending of all administrations reach 36%.
Government agencies may produce services like:
- Education (e.g. community college)
- Emergency services
- Entertainment (e.g. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)
- Financial services
- Fire fighting
- Law (e.g. legislative, judicial, and regulatory activities)
- Law enforcement
- Defence and armed forces
- Postal service
- Transport (e.g. government transportation)
- Counterintelligence and anti-terrorism services
Government agencies may produce goods like:
- Electrical infrastructure
- Oil (e.g. Pemex)
- Roads, bridges, tunnels
- Water infrastructure
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Commonwealth of Nations
In monarchical commonwealth countries country-wide government corporations often use the style "crown corporation". Notable exceptions include both the state-owned enterprises and the crown entities in New Zealand. Examples of crown corporations include the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in Canada and Air Canada before it underwent privatisation. Cabinet ministers (ministers of the crown) often control the shares in such public corporations.
For partial government employment statistics, see List of largest United Kingdom employers.
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In the United States, businesses that are government owned include Amtrak and the United States Postal Service. Many states have government owned businesses for operations as well. Generally speaking, a statute passed by a legislature specifically sets up a government owned company in order to undertake a specific public purpose with public funds or public property.
For employment statistics, see List of largest employers in the United States.
- Government debt
- Government ownership
- Government spending
- Government-sponsored enterprise
- Public sector
- State-owned enterprise
- Current Report: Financial Report of the United States: Publications & Guidance: Financial Management Service