Reviews of The Big Shift 2017

The Big Shift book cover
The Big Shift: Rethinking Money, Tax, Welfare and Governance for the Next Economic System by Deirdre Kent

Reviews of the book The Big Shift

“It’s great! Deirdre’s experience lends enormous credibility to her plan and all the details of transitioning.”

– Hazel Henderson, author of Mapping the Global Transition to a Solar Age, President Ethical Markets Media

“I have been waiting a long time for this book. Economics based on mathematical modelling ignores the realities of vulnerable humanity – there has to be a preferable alternative to unregulated global capitalism.”

–Gwenyth Shaw, former economics lecturer, Manchester University

“Brilliant! Well written and mind-bogglingly researched. Deirdre Kent certainly covers all bases and has a light easy style for such an intensive topic. Although there may be other solutions for land and money reform, I can’t fault her approach.”

– Bryan Kavanagh, Property Valuer, ex Australian Tax Office

“Every beating heart knows there must be a better way. Deirdre Kent offers a working solution, drawing upon historical evidence that an alternative economic structure can indeed work for the whole and the individual.”

– Munroe Harlow, Ph.D.


I highly recommend this book to anyone concerned about the future. Even though it is a compact volume, it clearly articulates what the real problems are and suggests a two pronged approach to re-establishing the society we would all like to live in.

Through the establishment of a local currency, complimentary to the national currency, leading to the re-establishment of the Commons, and with taxation based on land values rather than income, communities would thrive.

With predictions from a number of sources that 2018 will be “a crunch time” for the global economy we won’t have long to wait before the insights in this little book will need to be applied.

The information that another book, “The Natural Economic Order” by Silvio Gesell, was available as a PDF document, was also most valuable.


Fred Robinson



Fliss Butcher, formerly Dunedin City Councillor:

“Talking about the ideas in SHIFT takes economic discourse out of lecture rooms and into our dining rooms.  And in these days of uncertainty, and the hopelessness felt by many people, SHIFT is a much needed tool for hopeful change.”

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From Juliet Adams at LIFT Library in Lyttelton:

It’s a very short book, 93 pages, and can easily be read in one morning if you don’t follow up on the many footnotes indicating useful backup information in books (some in LIFT) and online links.

Most of it will be easily understood by the common reader with no background in economics, because it is full of real examples of failures and successes of various methods of managing economic systems.

Unlike most books on the topic, the author presents on p.5 a summary of the book’s proposed new system, so you don’t have to plough through the background to reach the conclusions. Then you get the detailed proposals, with examples of past and present failures that cause the need for change, and successes proving the value of the suggestions. Climate change is one of the big risks the world faces, especially with the fossil fuel issue, bringing the need for action now in the economic world, if we want to successfully adapt to the next economic collapse. Buckminster Fuller is quoted: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” This book’s new model will include a money system, a tax-and-dividend system and a partnership model of governance.
“1. From bank-created money to a consciously designed and publicly created and controlled currency.
2. From ‘ownership’ of land and resources to sharing the values of the commons.
3. From domination to partnership.”

Why should a reader who is not an economist read this book?

“Though banks and oil giants have size going for them and ‘corporations rule the world’, their size is also their weakness……Smaller groups can be more nimble.” Think of the effectiveness in NZ of the waves of small-group action in the anti-smoking movement, and the Nuclear-Free groups. “If small communities reassert their right to govern and reclaim some major functions, the corporations won’t know who to sue first.”

And here in Lyttelton and greater Christchurch we already are stepping along the way of transition, for example with worker cooperatives, social enterprises, savings pools (and hopefully Christchurch dollars); in other parts of New Zealand other initiatives have been set up – land value rating (local tax) systems in Wellington and Napier, and a community land trust for Kotare village; and public banks rather than private have been hugely successful in the BRIC countries.

The book concludes with 20 brief statements of the positive results of this “BIG SHIFT”. My favourite is “No.2 – New life in industry, and a sea change in horticultural and agriculture methods.” But I applaud all of them!


“Deirdre is an excellent author, with creative insights into the catastrophic errors of the unfolding economy. She consistently illuminates difficult topics, and her dedication shines through the fine prose.” – Zachary Domike