Many expenditures are made for the common benefit by the different political divisions which will not fall under the previous classifications. While most of them are rather small, the aggregate would make no inconsiderable sum. The Federal government maintains a currency and banking system as well as a standard system of weights and measures. Commerce is further aided by maintaining lighthouses, and navigable rivers and harbors. National parks and reserves are provided for recreation and experimental purposes. The amount spent for health and sanitation has increased rapidly. The states and local divisions also spend funds for many of the same things. Recreation, health, and sanitation hold important places in city expenditures, but comparatively unimportant places in those of the states. States often spend funds for conserving natural resources and for giving exhibitions, such as state fairs for promoting commerce and industry. Many of this class of expenditures are found almost exclusively in municipalities. Among such are those for street lighting, cleaning, and sprinkling, and for the maintenance of sewers and public markets.
A consideration of the number and importance of these expenditures, which are made without reference to any individual benefit, indicates the social aspect of the modern constitutional government. The needs of the social group are being recognized by the state, which is continually assuming responsibilities that were formerly held by individuals. Through the exercise of its regulatory functions, moreover, the apparent rights of individuals are often superseded by the demands of social welfare.