The BIG debate in Namibia continues as the Permanent Secretary of Environment and Tourism, Kalumbi Shangula, criticized the BIG coalition’s recent arguments for BIG. Shangla, surprisingly argued that the size of the BIG coalition’s proposed Basic Income Grant of 100 Namibian dollars is too small. He said that a grant of that size could only “alleviate” rather than “reduce” poverty. He also questioned some of the BIG coalition’s findings from their reject pilot project in Otjivero-Omitara. Members of the coalition replied with counter-arguments and editorials. Henry Platt, executive director of the Church Alliance for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, argued that BIG could make an important difference to the lives of orphans and vulnerable children in Namibia.

Stories about the debate are online at the following links:
Irene !Hoaës, “BIG debates rages on,” New Era, August 16, 2011
Claudia and Dirk Haarmann, Hilma Mote, and Herbert Jauch, “The BIG Debate in Context: Facts and Fiction about Otjivero,” New Eria July 15, 2011
Johanna Absalom, “BIG can benefit orphans and vulnerable children,” July 8, 2011

About Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist has written 983 articles.

Karl Widerquist is an Associate Professor of political philosophy at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University, specializing in distributive justice—the ethics of who has what. Much of his work involves Universal Basic Income (UBI). He is a co-founder of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG). He served as co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) for 7 years, and now serves as vice-chair. He was the Editor of the USBIG NewsFlash for 15 years and of the BIEN NewsFlash for 4 years. He is a cofounder of BIEN’s news website, Basic Income News, the main source of just-the-facts reporting on UBI worldwide. He is a cofounder and editor of the journal Basic Income Studies, the only academic journal devoted to research on UBI. Widerquist has published several books and many articles on UBI both in academic journals and in the popular media. He has appeared on or been quoted by many major media outlets, such as NPR’s On Point, NPR’s Marketplace, PRI’s the World, CNBC, Al-Jazeera, 538, Vice, Dissent, the New York Times, Forbes, the Financial Times, and the Atlantic Monthly, which called him “a leader of the worldwide basic income movement.” Widerquist holds two doctorates—one in Political Theory form Oxford University (2006) and one in Economics from the City University of New York (1996). He has published seven books, including Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press 2017, coauthored by Grant S. McCall) and Independence, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A Theory of Freedom as the Power to Say No (Palgrave Macmillan 2013). He has published more than a twenty scholarly articles and book chapters. Most Karl Widerquist’s writing is available on his “Selected Works” website ( More information about him is available on his BIEN profile and on Wikipedia. He writes the blog "the Indepentarian" for Basic Income News.