Alvin Rabushka

David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow, Emeritus
Biography: 

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.

Filter By:

Topic

Type

Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

China’s President Xi Jinping Channels His Inner Mao Zedong

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, February 8, 2016

In the February 2, 2016, edition of The Wall Street Journal, Andrew Browne published a very interesting article on current political trends in China entitled “Self-Criticism Makes a Comeback in Xi Jinping’s China.”  Contrition, practiced in Mao’s time, has returned as a humiliation ritual, broadcast on national television—even including foreigners accused of various crimes against the state.

Analysis and Commentary

The Pharaoh Dreams Anew In 2016. Thoughtful Ideas Interprets His Dreams

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bear with me. This will be a long and high-powered post. Genesis 41 tells the story of Pharaoh’s dreams and Joseph’s interpretation of them. Updated for 2016, Pharaoh dreamt that he stood by the river and suddenly there came out of the river seven fine looking and fat bulls, and they fed in the meadow.

Analysis and Commentary

Suspending My Campaign

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fill in the name: Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, and all the others that have dropped out, and will soon drop out, of the race for their party's presidential nomination.

Analysis and Commentary

The Best Way To Win Trade Deals With China

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A major complaint in Trump's speeches is the massive $505 billion dollar trade deficit with China, and large deficits with other countries. "We lose jobs," he says, "and they get cash." Trump blames these deficits on incompetent negotiators. Trump would use such shrewd businessmen as Carl Icahn to get better deals.

Analysis and Commentary

National Review Gone Wild Against Trump

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Sunday, January 24, 2016

The January 21, 2016, edition of National Review declared war against Donald Trump. Editor Rich Lowry assembled a cast of 22 thinkers, who share a “vision of the self-anointed conservatives,” to inform America’s conservatives that Trump is not one of them.

Analysis and Commentary

A Musical Interlude

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Friday, January 15, 2016

From the day he announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president, Donald Trump has been on the receiving end of a blistering attack from the political industry: Democrats and Republicans alike, the mainstream media, lobbyists, interest groups, you name it!

Analysis and Commentary

Democracy Follies, III

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, January 14, 2016

During the past few evenings, your friendly proprietor searched the Internet for centers or programs on “Why Democracies Fail,” or other such combination of words, in think tanks and universities. I did not find any.

Analysis and Commentary

Democracy Follies, II

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, January 11, 2016

Why did President George W. Bush believe, after the invasion, overthrow of Saddam Hussein and occupation of Iraq in 2003, that he could establish a viable democracy within the artificial borders of Iraq that were drawn by the colonial powers after World War I? 

Analysis and Commentary

Democracy Follies

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The title of this post is "Democracy Follies," as in the first three definitions of folly. 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.

Analysis and Commentary

Presidential Candidates Looking For A Few Good Economic Policy Ideas And Advisers

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Friday, January 1, 2016

The annual meeting of the American Economics Association takes place in San Francisco during January 3-5, 2016. Its timing is fortuitous as it precedes the next Republican presidential primary debate on January 14, 2016.

Pages

Featured:

The Russian Economy