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The well-being of Europe’s citizens depends less on individual consumption and more on their social consumption of essential goods and services – from water and retail banking to schools and care homes – in what we call the foundational economy. Individual consumption depends on market income, while foundational consumption depends on social infrastructure and delivery systems of networks and branches, which are neither created nor renewed automatically, even as incomes increase. This historically created foundational economy has been wrecked in the last generation by privatisation, outsourcing, franchising and the widespread penetration of opportunistic and predatory business models. The distinctive, primary role of public policy should therefore be to secure the supply of basic services for all citizens (not a quantum of economic growth and jobs). Reconstructing the foundational has to start with a vision of citizenship that identifies foundational entitlements as the conditions for dignified human development, and likewise has to depend on treating the business enterprises central to the foundational economy as juridical persons with claims to entitlements but also with responsibilities and duties. If the aim is citizen well-being and flourishing for the many not the few, then European politics at regional, national and EU level needs to be refocused on foundational consumption and securing universal minimum access and quality. If/when government is unresponsive, the impetus for change has to come from engaging citizens locally and regionally in actions which break with the top down politics of ‘vote for us and we will do this for you’.

Abstract only
Joe Earle, Cahal Moran, and Zach Ward-Perkins

aspects of the world we have described. The single largest challenge to econocracy to date came on Friday 24 June 2016 when the UK woke to find that 52 per cent of voters had decided that they wanted Britain to leave the European Union. The result was shocking because during the preceding debate almost the whole global economic and financial establishment had lined up Econocracy  25 to warn of the consequences of Brexit. Yet over 17 million people ignored the economists and supposedly voted against their own economic interest, or else decided that the economists

in The econocracy
Oonagh McDonald

prefers not to do so. But that changed when EU Regulation 2016/1011 came into force on 1 January 2018.13 The nature of those powers will change once LIBOR is designated as a critical benchmark under that EU Regulation: the UK may not be able to use those powers indefinitely. (It is not, however, clear whether or not this Regulation will apply after Brexit.) Other alternatives have been proposed, such as a broad treasuries rate in the USA, overnight rates such as the European EONIA, the Swiss SARON and Japan’s TONAR, where the data are produced by central banks. The Bank

in Holding bankers to account
The Foundation Economy Collective

services in a specific community. This would give voice to the community, build collective consciousness of shared problems, and empower action. Renewing the foundational 137 The results would become input for doing policy with and for communities; not doing policy to communities according to elite preferences. This need not displace experts and representative democracy with plebiscites and referenda. The point is not that, as Michael Gove argued in the Brexit referendum, the people have had enough of experts. The people cannot do without experts and politicians, but

in Foundational economy