Alvin Rabushka

David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow

Alvin Rabushka is the David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

He is the author or coauthor of numerous books in the areas of race and ethnicity, aging, taxation, state and local government finances, and economic development. His books include Politics in Plural Societies (originally published in 1972 and reissued in 2008 with a foreword and epilogue); A Theory of Racial Harmony; The Urban Elderly Poor; Old Folks at Home; The Tax Revolt; The Flat Tax; From Adam Smith to the Wealth of America; Hong Kong: A Study in Economic Freedom; and the New China. Rabushka’s most recent publication is Taxation in Colonial America, which received Special Recognition as a 2009 Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award.

He has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and in national newspapers. He has consulted for, and testified before, a number of congressional committees. In 1980, he served on President Ronald Reagan's Tax Policy Task Force.

Rabushka's books and articles on the flat tax (with Robert E. Hall) provided the intellectual foundation for numerous flat tax bills that were introduced in Congress during the 1980s and 1990s and the proposals of several presidential candidates in 1996 and 2000. He was recognized in Money magazine's twentieth-anniversary issue "Money Hall of Fame" for the importance of his flat tax proposal in bringing about passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. His pioneering work on the flat tax contributed to the adoption of the flat tax in Jamaica, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Mongolia, Mauritius, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Kygyzstan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Trinidad and Tobago, Pridnestrovie (Transdniestra), several Swiss Cantons, and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has also drafted flat tax plans for Austria, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Canada, and Slovenia.

Rabushka received his AB in Far Eastern studies from Washington University (St. Louis) in 1962, followed by his MA and PhD degrees in political science from Washington University in 1966 and 1968. In 2007, he was honored as a distinguished alumnus of the School of Arts and Sciences at Washington University.

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Recent Commentary

Latino students in class

Comprehensive Immigration Reform: A Model of Forgiveness

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Let’s be honest.  Everyone knows that comprehensive immigration reform entails amnesty, and ultimately citizenship, for more than 10 million Latino/a illegal immigrants residing in the U.S.  Amnesty means that these individuals would be pardoned of the crime of entering the U.S. illegally.

A white mechanic works on a car

Paul Krugman Hits a Grand Slam

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, September 24, 2012

In his post of September 24, 2012, “Sympathy For The Doofus,” Paul Krugman foresees Republicans in long-term decline.  White working class voters opposed to gay marriage will be offset in this election by affluent (white) women who will vote against the party of Todd Akin.

The Supreme Court of the United States

Republican Party Platform on Judicial Activism

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In the Republican Party Platform for 2012, the second sentence under the heading "Fundamental Tax Reform" reads as follows:

The Flat Tax

Flat Tax Update

by Alvin Rabushkavia Flat Tax
Saturday, June 30, 2012

The first half of 2012 brought changes in the hitherto stalwart flat-tax countries of Slovakia and the Czech Republic.  The putative purpose in both is reduce budget deficits and increase progressivity in the tax code.  

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Making Sense of Political Doubletalk: Chairman Mao and President Obama

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, May 7, 2012

Logic and evidence are not universal means of getting at the truth. Rather, for Obama, they are tools to be used in the service of Democrats. It’s as simple as that...


Decimating Cabinet Agencies: A Generic Template

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Decimating cabinet agencies is a multistage process...


Decimating Executive Agencies, Step One

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Let’s start with the Executive Office of the President...


Decimating the Executive Branch of the Federal Government

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, April 16, 2012

Assuming Mitt Romney is genuinely intent on reducing the scope, size, and cost of government, he should adopt as his symbol the “ax,” not the “scalpel"...


U.S. Public Opinion on the Flat Tax

by Alvin Rabushkavia Flat Tax
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

To summarize, a majority of surveys show that the American people favor a broad-based, low-rate, simple flat tax...


The Sons of Barack Obama

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How many thousands of young black male murder victims in Chicago would have looked like Trayvon Martin? When will the president, the mayor of Chicago, and the community organizers active in Chicago put a stop to these tragic murders?...



From Predation to Prosperity

This book starts with the experience of Russia since the end of central planning. It covers the great contraction of 1992-98 and the subsequent recovery in 1999-2006. It offers and empirically supports a uniform explanation of both the contraction and the recovery.