Although human beings have historically relied on their own efforts and on the support of their families, clans, neighbors and religious organizations to meet their social needs and improve their welfare (i.e., standards and quality of living, or well-being), governments have also played a major role in promoting the welfare of citizens. They have done so through passing laws, using tax subsidies and incentives, paying social security benefits and social assistance benefits and providing social services. In addition to these measures, the courts also make judicial decisions that have an effect on the welfare of people.