Alvin Rabushka

David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow, Emeritus

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


Analysts Were Looking For A Number.....

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, April 16, 2015

that was [higher, lower] than actual [earnings, jobs created, unemployment rate, trade deficit, last quarter's GDP growth, etc.].


Many Years Ago, California Governor Jerry Brown Said......

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, April 13, 2015
Global warming poses a risk to the planet.
Global warming causes climate change, which causes extremes in heat and cold, and drought.

Governor Brown Says: Tear Out Lawns, Take Short Showers, Or Pay $500 Fine

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Brown says NO statewide mandatory reductions for farmers since “they must feed the nation and the world.”


Governor Brown Signs Executive Order B-29-15 Announcing First-Ever California Mandatory State Water Reductions

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Friday, April 3, 2015

On April 1 (No April Fool’s Joke), 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed a seven-page Executive Order that imposed 25% mandatory water reduction in 2015 over 2013 usage for urban areas, commercial, industrial, and institutional properties (campuses, golf courses, cemeteries), along with other restrictions.


What's So Bad About 7% Growth In China?

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Friday, March 27, 2015

Nothing! At 7% annual growth, real output doubles in 10 years, quadruples in 20, and grows eight-fold in 30.


Countries Or Jurisdictions With A Flat Tax As Of March 2015

by Alvin Rabushkavia Flat Tax
Friday, March 20, 2015

Countries or Jurisdictions With a Flat Tax as of March 2015 (Includes Personal Exemption or Allowance. Effective Zero Rate on First Tranche of Earnings or Self-Employed Business Profits)


Republican Senators Lee And Rubio Timidly Talk Tax Reform

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Saturday, March 7, 2015

In their Wall Street Journal article of March 3, 2015, Republican Senators Mike Lee and Marco Rubio throw their tax reform hat into the ring.

Other Media

Flat Tax - A Fair, Simple, and Transparent Reform

by Alvin Rabushkavia Institute of Economic Affairs
Monday, January 12, 2015

Alvin Rabushka, one of the leading global proponents of the flat tax and co-author of the Hall–Rabushka flat tax plan, gave a packed audience at the IEA an insight into how his pioneering work has been adopted in many countries - and how it could work in the UK.


Water is California's Real Problem

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, January 8, 2015
California is in the midst of a four-year drought.  Despite the several days of heavy rain in mid-December 2014, rainfall and snow pack water content are way below normal.  As of January 6, 2015 (with no rain in the forecast for the next 10 days), the water content of the Sierra snow pack is at 43% of normal for this time of the year, and only 17% of the average for April 1.

Condolences to Piketty, Saez, and the 250 French Economists Who Endorsed Francois Hollande for President and his 75% Tax Rate on the Super Rich

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Friday, December 26, 2014
In 2012, 250 French economists endorsed Francois Hollande for President, especially his proposal to impose a 75% marginal tax rate on the earnings of French residents that exceeded one million euros, an increase of 30 percentage points over the top rate of 45%.  Once in office, Hollande promptly imposed the tax.