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

Econ Log
Analysis and Commentary

Kudos To EconLog

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
EconLog is among the top economics blogs and among my favorites. I open it daily and sometimes several times a day.
Analysis and Commentary

Update: America Has No Arab Allies

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, December 10, 2015

His comments state the reality of so-called Arab allies. Carter acknowledged a missing element in the campaign: a more assertive role by Sunni Arab allies from the Gulf in the effort against Islamic State, a Sunni extremist group.

Analysis and Commentary

Swedish Banks Are Government Informants

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Sweden is the leading example of a "cashless" economy. Currency in circulation has been steadily declining in recent years, reaching a low of SEK 68.9 billion on October 15, 2015.

Analysis and Commentary

Who Are America's Arab Allies? Do We Have Any?

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, December 7, 2015

Those Democrat and Republican presidential candidates that propose to defeat ISIS by putting 10,000-20,000 troops on the ground to advise and assist our Arab allies repeat over and over again that our Arab allies will have to bear the brunt of the load in supplying troops.

Analysis and Commentary

How Democrats Can Win (Republicans Can Lose) The Senate In 2016

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Saturday, November 28, 2015

Here are the numbers. Elections will be held for 34 Senate seats. Of these, Republicans hold 24 and Democrats 10. Political analysts have identified ten states in which seats are most likely to flip between parties. Of these, 8 are Republican and 2 are Democrat.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Trump Can Win Big

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Return with us to those thrilling days of yesteryear, June 6, 1978, when voters approved Proposition 13in California by a landslide 65-35 percent.

Analysis and Commentary

Beware Of Economists Calling For More Government Funding Of Government Data Collection

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, November 23, 2015

Sixty-three distinguished economists signed an open letter to Congress urging increased federal spending for government agencies charged with collecting economic data.

Analysis and Commentary

Students Rally For Divestment--But From What?

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Global Climate Change Summit will be held in Paris during November 30-December 11, 2015. Its goal is to set out a schedule to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Every important political leader in the world will attend.

Analysis and Commentary

Flat Tax Plans Dominate Republican Candidates Tax Proposals In The November 10, 2015, Fox Business News-WSJ Debate

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, November 12, 2015

On December 10, 1981, my distinguished colleague Robert (Bob) E. Hall and I first proposed our flat-tax plan in the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal.

Analysis and Commentary

Something Is Rotten In The State Of Denmark

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Democrats, candidates for higher office, economists, and celebrities (Oprah), love Denmark as an example of a high-tax, big government, all-encompassing welfare state that works.

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