Alvin Rabushka

David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow, Emeritus
Biography: 

Alvin Rabushka is the David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow, Emeritus 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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Analysis and Commentary

Countries And Jurisdictions With A Flat Tax On July 2, 2020

by Alvin Rabushkavia Flat Tax
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

At the peak of the flat tax movement, 44 countries and jurisdictions had a flat tax. The number has declined to 27, with Russia the most recent to add a second top rate. Politicians in both dictatorships and democracies find that imposing a second top rate on a small percentage of high-income earners is popular, especially when twinned with increased social benefits for lower- and middle-class taxpayers. The same holds for a second lower rate.

Analysis and Commentary

Race Relations In America

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Late May 2020 witnessed an outburst of protests and violence in cities around the United States in the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd. Racial protests and race riots are not new or unique to America. They have occurred throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, East Asia, South Asia, the Pacific, and the Caribbean.

Analysis and Commentary

Getting Back To Business With China

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Is it time for the U.S. to move on from the blame game over who did what on Covid-19, and get back to doing business with the Chinese Communist Party, China’s Government, Chinese universities, business firms, and social organizations?

Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution Collection, Box 2, Hoover Institution Archives
Analysis and Commentary

Red Flag Over Hong Kong: China's Broken Promise To Hong Kong

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Friday, May 22, 2020
Read the following book (free download) for a thorough understanding of China's broken promise to Hong Kong that its residents would enjoy a high degree of autonomy for 50 years to maintain their separate political, economic, and social systems.
Analysis and Commentary

The Coming Great Disruption In Higher Education

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, April 7, 2020

During the past decade, most universities and colleges, large and small, have set forth vision statements for the future along with timetables for achieving their goals.

Analysis and Commentary

The Coming Great Disruption In Higher Education

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, April 7, 2020

During the past decade, most universities and colleges, large and small, have set forth vision statements for the future along with timetables for achieving their goals.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

by Alvin Rabushka
Monday, March 30, 2020

The American Psychiatric Association and The National Institute of Mental Health define Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as a common, chronic, and long-lasting disorder, consisting of recurring thoughts, ideas, and obsessions that drive people to engage in repetitive behaviors. About 1.2% of Americans have OCD, slightly more women than men, and typically show symptoms around age 19.

2020: What's In and What's Out

by Alvin Rabushka
Thursday, March 26, 2020

What’s In / What’s Out

March 3, 2020, California Primary Election: Political Diversity At An Elite Institution

by Alvin Rabushka
Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Stanford, among the nation’s premier universities, is home to several thousand faculty and staff who own or rent a campus residence, along with more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students who live in student housing.

Analysis and Commentary

The Era Of Trying To Cut Federal Government Spending Is Over

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Why is the era of trying to cut federal government spending over? The answer lies in the large number of zeros attached to the federal budget deficit, just the deficit itself, not total government spending.

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