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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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.

How to Live in High-Tax Sweden Almost Tax-Free

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, September 15, 2014

This post is directed largely at American men aged 50-65 who were enthralled with NBC’s summer 2014 hit mini-series “Welcome to Sweden.”


Swedes Vote for Higher Taxes, More Government Spending

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Sunday, September 14, 2014

On September 14, 2014, Swedes voted to replace their center-right government led by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt with a center-left government led by union leader Stefan Loefven.

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Drip, Drip, Drip: US Troops in Iraq Number Over 1600

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Saturday, September 13, 2014

post of August 13, 2014, counted 875 U.S. Security Forces in Iraq.  In early September, another 350 were dispatched to Iraq, followed by an announcement of another 475 at the end of the second week in September.  During the third week of September, total "boots on the ground" will exceed 1,600.


Chicago vs. St. Louis: More Than a Baseball Rivalry

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, August 18, 2014

The website Spot Crime displays local daily crime statistics for such categories as shooting, assault, burglary, vandalism, and so forth.

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: