Types of Government Regulations

The government regulates many plots of land within U.S. borders.
... NA/Photos.com/Getty Images

Often a fault line in American politics, government regulation is present in a lot of public life. Water and air quality fall under government regulation, as does the safety and composition of food products. Businesses are also regulated by the government, and so is the communications industry. Regulation is generally undertaken to preserve some public good, like safe drinking water and access to public resources.

1 Food and Medicine

Food and Medicine
... Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Created in 1906, though known under a different name, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures the safety of food and medicine sold and produced in the U.S. The FDA sets and enforces standards for the presence of dangerous or foreign compounds in foods. It also tests the danger and efficacy of any medicines produced in the U.S. Tobacco products, which are known to be dangerous, are also under the purview of the FDA.

2 Communications

... Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The airwaves are considered a public space, since there is a limit to how much information can fit in a particular bandwidth. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates who can broadcast TV and radio signals by issuing licenses to stations. The FCC also regulates media transmitted by satellites and cable. What can and can't be broadcast is also regulated by the FCC, including profanity, nudity, violence and other things considered objectionable.

3 Trade

... Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The U.S. federal government regulates all interstate trade and businesses. Through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the government attempts to protect consumers from unfair practices and ensure that competition is preserved. This means stopping companies from price-gouging if they are the only source for a certain good in an area. It also means stopping monopolies, where one company uses its market presence to prevent competition.

4 Air and Water

Air and Water
... Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

With the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. government regulates the safety of the air and public waterways. This includes stopping people and companies from putting dangerous chemicals or compounds into the water and air. This is done to protect public health and preserve the environment.

Will Dean has worked as a freelance journalist and editor in Philadelphia for three years. He has written on a wide variety of topics, including local news, arts, music, history, food and urban sustainability, for a variety of publications, like the "Philadelphia City Paper" and "GRID" magazine. He is also a college graduate from the College of New Jersey.