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

Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Warned 30 Years Ago That NATO Would Weaken The West

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said that U.S. involvement with NATO needs to be rethought, both its mission and US funding of it (75%). Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton immediately denounced his position in remarks at Stanford University on March 23, 2016. 

Analysis and Commentary

Bob Dylan Had Great Political Foresight

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Never in political history have so many political analysts and pundits been so wrong about the Trump phenomenon!

The Flat Tax by Hoover fellows Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka
Analysis and Commentary

Promoting The 15% Flat Tax In Italy

by Alvin Rabushkavia Flat Tax
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Armando Siri discusses the 15% flat tax in Italy.

Analysis and Commentary

First Friday Of The Month Jobs Report

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Strong numbers: Obama's policies are working says some Obama economic spokesman. Weak Numbers: We don't pay attention to one month's data says some Obama economic spokesman. We look at the long-term trend. Obama has created millions of jobs. His policies are working.

Analysis and Commentary

US Trade Deficits Or Surpluses With Selected Large Countries

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Comprehensive statistics on US global trade in goods and services with some large countries are available for 2014; goods, but not services, data are available for some countries in 2015, but goods only data provide an incomplete picture of overall U.S. trade balances.

Analysis and Commentary

Official Data On US Global Trade And Trade With China In 2015

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, February 29, 2016

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis publishes statistics on US international economic and financial transactions with the rest of the world.

Analysis and Commentary

British Exit (Brexit) From The European Union: Right Or Wrong?

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Saturday, February 27, 2016

On June 23, 2016, British voters will decide whether Britain should remain a member state of the European Union, or exit and return to its pre-union status.

Analysis and Commentary

Hong Kong's New Reality

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, February 25, 2016

Britain transferred sovereignty over Hong Kong to China on July 1, 1997, when Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of China (HKSAR). It was to be governed by a Basic Law, a mini-constitution, in accordance with Deng Xiaoping's formula of "One Country, Two Systems." Hong Kong was to enjoy a high degree of autonomy.

Jeb Bush
Analysis and Commentary

Why Jeb Bush Failed

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Sunday, February 21, 2016

Barack Obama won the presidential election in 2008 because American voters were weary of the war in Iraq and traumatized by the onset of the Great Recession in 2008.

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.

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