Alvin Rabushka

David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow, Emeritus

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

Fact and Fancy about Post-Communist Economic Reforms

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia
Tuesday, November 21, 2000

Apart from a sharp decline in living standards, the greatest loser in Russia’s economic reforms has been plain facts.

Analysis and Commentary

Russia’s Banks Are Corrupt and Unreformed

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia
Monday, October 2, 2000

The failure to reform Russia’s banks, wrote the The Moscow correspondent of The Economist, is hampering the development of a vital source of financing for restructuring Russian enterprises.

Analysis and Commentary

Russia Has No Real Banks

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia
Thursday, September 21, 2000

Russia’s banks are ersatz banks, not real banks; their main activity is to transmit subsidies from the government to enterprises.

Analysis and Commentary

How Big Are Russia's Foreign Exchange Reserves?

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia
Monday, September 11, 2000

To find an answer, we need to examine monthly balance sheets of the Central Bank, the debt records of the Ministry of Finance, and the collective balance sheets of the monetary authority, which comprises jointly the Central Bank of Russia and the Ministry of Finance.

Analysis and Commentary

Russia Adopts 13% Flat Tax

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia
Wednesday, July 26, 2000

The Russian government, under its new president, Vladimir Putin, has made tax reform its number one economic policy priority. It

Analysis and Commentary

How to Reverse the Upcoming Russian Bust

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia
Saturday, July 1, 2000

A real banking system, a crucial leg in the triad of the financial system (fiscal, monetary, and banking), would effectively separate management of the monetary system from private finance, beget private productive incentives, mobilize private savings, and finance private investment.

Analysis and Commentary

It’s the Dollar

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia
Sunday, January 30, 2000

With the U.S. dollar as legal tender in Russia, the issue of an overvalued ruble disappears.

Analysis and Commentary

Prospects for Tax Reform

by Alvin Rabushkavia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, December 27, 1999

What are the prospects for a flat tax, a national retail sales tax, or any major overhaul of the federal income tax in the near future?

Flatten the Payroll Tax—and Change the World

by Alvin Rabushkavia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 30, 1999

Hoover fellow Alvin Rabushka offers a tax reform proposal that would save the Social Security system, make the tax system flat and fair, and give taxpayers the opportunity to increase their retirement savings. Not bad for eight hundred words.

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Stop the Bailout

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 30, 1998

Teetering on the verge of collapse, the Russian banking system is threatening to bring the entire Russian economy down with it. Hoover fellows Michael S. Bernstam and Alvin Rabushka argue that Russia’s banks need to be reformed, not bailed out.



The Russian Economy