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

A Theory Of Racial Harmony

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Friday, September 21, 2018
Racial bias--explicit, implicit, conscious, or unconscious--in U.S. universities and colleges is not a new subject. Race relations have been a heated, controversial subject of research and discussion for decades.
Analysis and Commentary

U.S. Foreign Policy Faces Grave Danger, Part 1

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
This is the first in a series of posts explaining why. Before laying out the argument, let’s backtrack to the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. How many politicians, generals, diplomats, and prominent experts in universities and think tanks, some serving in the Bush and Obama administrations, would claim in late 2018 that these military operations were successful?
Analysis and Commentary

Golden Anniversary Celebration

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Saturday, September 1, 2018

On September 1, 1968, I began my first full-time academic job as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Rochester. Fifty years later to the day, on my Academic Golden Anniversary, I am launching a new website, It presents my research on four themes: economic freedom, tax policy, race and ethnic relations, and aging policy.

Analysis and Commentary

It’s Time For Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II To Revisit The London School Of Economics And Also Host A Conference Of Leading American And British Economists At Windsor Castle

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Shortly after the Financial Crisis of 2008, H.M. Queen Elizabeth II went to the London School of Economics and asked its professors “Why didn’t you see this coming?” They never really gave her a satisfactory answer.

Stanford Oval
Analysis and Commentary

Markets In Undergraduate Stanford Degrees

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, June 25, 2018

At its June 14-15, 2018, meeting, Stanford’s Board of Trustees approved the Provost’s Annual Budget for 2018-2019. Schedule 10 in the Appendix (page 116) lists the top 20 majors with the largest number of baccalaureate degrees awarded over the past 10 years, from 2007-08 through 2016-17. Elsewhere one can find the number of degrees granted by all 61 Stanford degree-granting departments/programs (hereafter departments).

Analysis and Commentary

Political Diversity Of Stanford Students: 94% Voted Democrat For Governor And U.S. Senator, Only 4% Voted Republican

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, June 7, 2018

California is a Blue State. The San Francisco Bay Area is Dark Blue. Stanford University, where your friendly proprietor has worked and lived for more than 40 years, is Deep Dark Blue.

Analysis and Commentary

Diversity And Inclusion Are Underrepresented At The Top Ranks Of University Leadership

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A diverse student body needs a diverse faculty, but not evidently a diverse leadership.

Finland Is The Happiest Country In The World

by Alvin Rabushka
Thursday, March 22, 2018

To borrow a phrase from John McEnroe, “You cannot be serious!” Let’s start with the weather. It’s cold, dark, and dreary most of the year. I first arrived in Helsinki in late May 1981. The buds on the trees were just starting to open. Even the long glorious days of summer can be wet and chilly. The Finns cannot be happy about the weather.

Warning To Business Men And Women Seeking The Democrat Nomination For 2020: Don’t

by Alvin Rabushka
Wednesday, March 21, 2018

If you try to pull a Democrat Party Trump, a political outsider running for president, you will be crushed! 

Analysis and Commentary

Red Guards 2.0 With American Characteristics For The Current Era

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A large number of (self-defined) oppressed groups are actively fighting the White heteronormative male patriarchy for influence and power. At present their influence is dissipated in fragmentation, with each group seeking its own redress.



The Russian Economy