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

Promoting The Flat Tax In Italy

by Alvin Rabushkavia Flat Tax
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Essays on the adoption and results of the Flat Tax around the globe.

Analysis and Commentary

Rules! Really?

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

It took the 17th Amendment to replace state legislators choosing Senators to direct popular election of Senators. It took the Supreme Court to rule that “Separate but Equal” was not equal.

Analysis and Commentary

Democracy Follies, IV

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, April 18, 2016

A bedrock principle of democracy is “one man, one vote.” Or, is it? The 2016 presidential primaries and caucuses have shown that the great majority of a state’s registered Republicans or Democrats can be excluded from the selection process on the basis of “rules” drawn up by party bosses who are wined and dined (bribed is a better word) by candidates and their supporters.

Analysis and Commentary

How About Full Disclosure Of Offshore Accounts

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

For all political candidates, elected officials, and heads of executive agencies.

Analysis and Commentary

The Growing Racial Divide In The Democrat Party

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, April 11, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s primary and caucus victories were due, in large measure, to black voters. The table that follows through the Wisconsin primary on April 5, 2016, is a chronological list of Clinton’s wins, followed by the percentage black population in each state, and the share of the black vote she won in each state. 

Analysis and Commentary

Why The Justice Department Will Not Indict Hillary Clinton

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, April 7, 2016

Barack Obama is the first black president of the United States. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is black. In the seventeen primary and caucus states (excluding American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands), which Hillary Clinton has won through Wisconsin on March 5, 2016, blacks voted for her by an average of 80%, from a low of 60% in Illinois to a high of 90% in Alabama and Mississippi.

Analysis and Commentary

The Panama Papers Give New Meaning to “Public Service.”

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has created a web page titled “The Panama Papers: Politicians, Criminals and the Rogue Industry That Hides Their Cash.” It displays interactive images of country leaders and other high level officials that have stashed cash in an offshore account in a no-tax or low-tax jurisdiction. 

Analysis and Commentary

Consumer Reports For Government Agencies Are Badly Needed

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

There are literally hundreds of federal government agencies. Most Americans have never heard of the vast majority of them, much less know what they do or how many people they employ or how much money they spend.

Analysis and Commentary

Inequality Run Amok

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, April 4, 2016

The current academic and political obsession with inequality is like crabgrass taking over a pristine lawn of Kentucky bluegrass.

Analysis and Commentary

It's Time To Say "Thank You For Your Private Service To America"

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Friday, April 1, 2016

We often hear the words "Thank you for your service to America" in reference to elected and appointed government officials, civil servants, and members of the armed forces, all of whom are on the public payroll. Receiving a check from the government is deemed of superior virtue to receiving a paycheck from a private enterprise or self-employment.



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