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

Danger Ahead: America Is Rapidly Becoming Aristotle’s Fifth Form Of Democracy

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, March 31, 2016

Read and ponder Aristotle's warning, written 2,465 years ago, as to what happens when the Rule of Law is displaced by demagogues and decrees.

Analysis and Commentary

Preserving Economic Freedom

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

In the mid- to late-1980s, the Fraser Institute hosted a series of Liberty Fund conferences on economic freedom, which led to Fraser's Annual Report on Economic Freedom.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Britain Should Exit (Brexit) The European Union

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Sunday, March 27, 2016

If Britons vote to remain in the European Union in a referendum set for June 23, 2016, Britain will lose its culture, along with its political and economic independence.

Analysis and Commentary

Stanford Students Protest Against Hillary Clinton

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Friday, March 25, 2016

On the morning of March 23, 2016, your friendly proprietor walked over to the venue where Democrat candidate for president Hillary Clinton was scheduled to speak at 11:15 am.

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.

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