Alvin Rabushka

David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow, Emeritus
Biography: 

Alvin Rabushka is the David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow, Emiritus 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

Analysis and Commentary

New Year's Wish For 2017

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Sunday, January 1, 2017

From the moment Donald Trump rode down the escalator in Trump Tower on June 16, 2015, to declare his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president, he has been subjected to a vicious stream of attacks and criticisms from the left, center, and Republican establishment all the way through his nomination, election, and transition.

Analysis and Commentary

The 15% Flat Tax Continues To Percolate In Italy

by Alvin Rabushkavia Flat Tax
Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Armando Siri explains his 15% Flat Tax in Italian.

Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson Is An Honorable Man

by Alvin Rabushka
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

To my esteemed, award-winning colleague and friend, Niall Ferguson, I say:  Welcome back from the dark side.  It takes guts to admit one’s mistake as Niall did at the Milken Institute in December 2016, when he said he was wrong to oppose Brexit.  In future visits to Britain, he vows to spend more time in pubs and less time fraternizing with establishment politicians.

Analysis and Commentary

Think Tanks On A Shoestring

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, self-driving cars, robotic vacuums, sex dolls (sexbots), chatbots, waiterbots, and other robot applications are transforming the world. Can think tank bots be far behind?

Update: The Democrat Presidential Nominee in 2020 Will Be....

by Alvin Rabushka
Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Mark Cuban or possibly Tom Steyer. Tom Steyer, hedge fund billionaire, Stanford trustee, and fanatical environmentalist hints he may seek the Democrat nomination in 2020 to save the planet.

Stanford University Faculty, Staff, and Students Living in Campus Housing Vote 91.6% For Clinton, 3.4% for Trump

by Alvin Rabushka
Thursday, November 10, 2016

From its founding in 1891, portions of Stanford’s land have been used to construct housing for faculty, staff and students. Over 125 years, Stanford faculty and the University have built about 650 single-family homes, 250 condominiums, and 40 duplexes. (More construction is currently underway.)

Analysis and Commentary

The Democrat Nominee For President In 2020 Will Be......

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Mark Cuban, or some other wealthy individual from the business community.

Analysis and Commentary

Western Democracy Gone Mad

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, September 6, 2016

For decades, but especially following the U.S. overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001 and the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, the U.S. government has tried to promote the establishment of democracies in the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and elsewhere around the globe.

Reduce Inequality? Not If It Affects My Livelihood!

by Alvin Rabushka
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Most leading American universities have established “Centers for the Study of Inequality.” Reducing inequality is one leg of the holy academic triad of diversity, sustainability, and reducing inequality. 

Another Day Brings Another Batch of Republican Bigwigs Against Trump

by Alvin Rabushka
Friday, August 26, 2016

On August 25, 2016, the Wall Street Journal released the results of a survey of 37 current and former living members (8 others did not respond to the Journal's inquiries) who served on the White House Council of Economic Advisers under 8 presidents. Twenty served under Democrat presidents and 17 under Republicans. 

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