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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’.

The resurgence of Route 128 in Massachusetts
Michael H. Best

immigrant workforce in the state had a bachelor’s degree or higher (MTC, 1998).) In-migration has taken up much of the slack from the shortfall of engineering graduates of colleges and universities in the state. The number of foreign-born and, in most cases, foreign-educated technical workforce has accumulated to a sizeable fraction of the total pool. Furthermore, the figure suggests another source of increased technical labour supply in Massachusetts: graduates who remain in Massachusetts. Of the 6,000 graduates produced per year, a higher percentage stays in the state

in Market relations and the competitive process
The Foundation Economy Collective

this. Analytically, the identity of those who have entitlements and duties cannot be restricted to a set of humans at any particular historical moment, for to do so would be to deny the claims of future generations. Practically, many important policy problems – environmental protection, migration, capital flows, regulation of transnational enterprise – also involve cross-national interdependencies or temporal consequences, and therefore cannot defensibly only be conceived in a world of state delimited territorial boundaries in the here and now. In the foundational

in Foundational economy
Open Access (free)
Crisis, reform and recovery
Shalendra D. Sharma

,000 redundancies, raising the level of unemployment to 2.2 million as of June 1999. Real wages declined following the pre-crisis tightening of the labor market. Real wage growth, which stood at over 2 per cent per year in 1996, reversed itself. The real wage fell by more than 7 per cent in 1998 and by 1.5 per cent in 1999.”56 While the initial labor-force impacts were largely in urban areas, the effects were also felt in the countryside, through both return migration of urban workers and reduced remittances. Since Thailand does not have a well-developed formal social safety net

in The Asian financial crisis
The Foundation Economy Collective

marshals. But that is the here and now. Everyday life was not like this for most of human history and it is not like this for many people in low-income countries today. Through most of history, cities were so unhealthy that they relied on inward migration to maintain population. That is what it was like before about 1880 in large West European cities plagued by high infant mortality and infectious diseases (Lenger 2012, pp. 38–40). Disease killed rich and poor alike because cities did not have urban systems which piped clean water and sanitation to every household and

in Foundational economy