Alvin Rabushka

David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow, Emeritus

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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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Xi Jinping Thought Fails The Test Of Fighting Man-Made, Global Warming, Climate Change

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, December 5, 2019

Xi Jinping Thought consists of fourteen basic policies. Number 4: “Adopting new science-based ideas for ‘innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development.’” Number 9:  “Coexist well with nature with ‘energy conservation and environmental protection’ policies and ‘contribute to global ecological safety.’”

Analysis and Commentary

Xi Jinping Thought Fails The Test Of Diversity And Inclusion

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Xi Jinping is the “core” of China’s leadership. Xi Jinping Thought is the political foundation of the Chinese Communist Party and constitutes the governing principles of the Chinese government. Xi Jinping’s leadership and Thought are not to be questioned or challenged in any way by the Chinese people. It is only to be studied and elaborated in accordance with the Central Party School’s instructions.

Analysis and Commentary

Xi Jinping Thought Fails Its First Major Test

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Xi Jinping Thought, short for Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, which has been incorporated in China’s Constitution, consists of 14 basic policies.

Analysis and Commentary

Hong Kong People Vote Overwhelmingly For Freedom And Democracy, Repudiating Pro-China Establishment Politicians And Business Elites

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

On November 24, 2019, Hong Kongers went to the polls to elect 452 members who serve on 16 District Councils. Turnout was 71% compared with 47% in 2015. Compared with 2015, Pro-democracy candidates won 388 seats (+262), Pro-Beijing candidates 59 seats (-239), and Unaligned candidates 5 seats (-2). Pro-democracy candidates won a majority in 15 of the 16 District Councils (+15).

Analysis and Commentary

Hoisted From The Archives, June 17, 2010: The Origins Of The Flat Tax

by Alvin Rabushkavia Flat Tax
Monday, October 21, 2019

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, in its June 2010 edition of Region magazine, published a lengthy interview with Robert E. Hall that covers a broad range of economic issues. One discusses tax policy. As most readers of this site know, Bob is my coauthor of four books (1983, 1985, 1995, 2007) and numerous articles on the flat tax.

Analysis and Commentary

Our Strength And Our Prosperity Depend On Our Diversity: Reality Or Ideology?

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Economic growth is driven by increases in productivity and labor.  However, not all labor is the same.  Some is low-skilled, low-valued-added, while other labor is high-skilled, high-value-added.  It makes a big difference in the rate of growth if the increase in labor is low-skilled or high-skilled.
Analysis and Commentary

Why It’s So Hard To Withdraw U.S. Troops From Afghanistan, The Middle East, And Other Regions

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, September 26, 2019

First, some facts, based on U.S. Department of Defense statistics as of June 30, 2019. The data are by region, identifying the most important countries.

Analysis and Commentary

Understanding Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Motivation And Ambition

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, September 9, 2019

Apart from a brief flirtation with democracy immediately after the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911 and the emergence of multi-party democracy in Taiwan in 1992, autocrats have ruled China throughout its history.

Analysis and Commentary

A Proposal To Reduce Mass Shootings In America

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Mass shootings are tragic. Each incident receives massive media coverage and prompts federal, state, and local lawmakers to propose new laws and regulations to restrict gun ownership and strengthen enforcement of existing gun laws to reduce the incidence of mass shootings. Still, mass shootings persist.

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

Why Aren’t The Presidents Of America’s Leading Universities Publicly Supporting The Quest Of Hong Kong Students For Democracy And Freedom?

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Almost every leading university in America has a center for the study of democracy and encourages its students to help build democracy around the world. But why haven’t the leaders of these same universities signed and published a letter supporting the students in their quest for freedom and democracy against repressive rule from China?



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