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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Recent Commentary

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?

Analysis and Commentary

Voters In Macau, Hong Kong’s Neighbor, Peacefully Elect A New Chief Executive

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Sunday, August 25, 2019

On August 25, 2019, Macau’s Election Committee, the territory’s 400 official voters, almost unanimously (392 or 98%) elected Ho Iat-seng, former president of Macau’s Legislative Assembly, as Chief Executive. Ho was the only candidate.

Analysis and Commentary

Want To Halt The Spread Of Socialist Ideas On American Campuses? Send All First-Year Students To Hong Kong For Orientation Week.

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Friday, August 16, 2019

Let’s send the Class of 2023 to Hong Kong for Orientation Week instead of the university to which they have been admitted.  Let American students meet with their Hong Kong counterparts to see why Hong Kong youngsters are on the front line risking life and limb for Liberty and standing up against socialist Tyranny in China.

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

Hong Kong Residents Are Writing Their Chapter In The Annals Of Freedom

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Against impossible odds, Hong Kong youngsters and their supporters among the population, are making a remarkable stand for Liberty.  Ten weeks and counting, they are resisting a proposed law permitting extradition of Hong Kong residents to China and demanding  the right to elect their leaders, not having them picked by China.

Analysis and Commentary

Waiting For Godot With American Characteristics For The Modern Era

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, August 5, 2019

The Inspector General’s report on the origins of the Russian Collusion story (e.g., the FISA court warrants) was imminent last spring, definitely in June, for sure in July, well past due in August, now unquestionably due in September.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Are Americans Much Richer Than Mexicans?

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, July 29, 2019

According to the International Monetary Fund, per capita gross domestic product (GDP) in purchasing power parity (PPP) in the United States in 2017 was $59,495.  In Mexico, it was $19,480, 32.7% of that in the U.S.

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