That's easy: Government is for making sure the rich keep getting richer.
Better to ask, what SHOULD government be for? Better answer: It should be for protecting the peaceful exercise of individual rights. Period.
Re: your title, "What is Government For?"; I frequently aver that my favorite example of government in action (allegedly TWO words; not "inaction"), is the railroad crossing bar. I think that, due to my many thousands of hours spent on the highways of various nations, I often am prone to use some metaphor based on transportation, for the foibles/failures of our society. The crossing bar is good for my rhetorical purposes since it emulates the need for dictatorial compulsion in situations where people just are too damned stubborn/stupid to act in, not only the best interests of society, but merely their own best interests. I have personally observed 2 events, wherein a driver attempted (note the verb; not "accomplished with success and verve", rather, "futiley & stupidly & terminally attempted") to drive around the crossing bar which was unfairly delaying some urgent mission, such as getting to the next red light before everyone else in the universe. Note that in both of those cases, that was the last act of defiance by the driver ... the last act of any kind, actually. Anywhatsoever, I kind of like to occasionally haul out some paradigm based on the railroad crossing bar, which is there only because a mere signal will often not be any impediment to far too many drivers; the crossing bar does not impede some of them for long, and for too many of them, only a kiloton freight train is sufficient to get their attention. Note the basic characteristics: in a situation where society will be cost something (delay in the RR schedule, time wasted by coroner's office on deceased moron, etc.) and where the individual (the driver of the vehicle) may suffer ill-effects, the government has discovered (using the analog of the non-typists' technique of "hunt-and-eventually-peck"; here being the tabulating of the body count while various signals are futiley tried out, finally hitting on the solution of blocking the road) that some sort of force must often be used for everyone, due to the persistence of the few (I also view the occasional sudden demise of that few, as merely evolution slowly & with lots of hesitation, acting). And, as with any puzzle, a few of the monkeys figure out a clever way around the lock. And I see by the clock, that I have already written a paragraph. Enough, quoth the raven!!
To be more succinct, the probability is high, that I will submit a real article for you.
%^) James email@example.com
what does government end up doing in trying to achieve this end? institutionalization of control of the weak by the strong.
how does government rationalize this? 1) it's better than anarchy. 2) it's better than control by someone else. 3) bread and circuses.
steve teich firstname.lastname@example.org