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

Will More Diversity And Inclusion End Systemic Racism On Campus?

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, September 28, 2020

Universities have been at the forefront of diversity for the past 40 years. Yet, after the unfortunate death of George Floyd, they have rushed to declare that their campuses are replete with systemic, institutional racism.

Analysis and Commentary

The Abraham Accords. Peace Between Israel And The United Emirates And Bahrain

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, September 17, 2020
First Egypt in 1979, then Jordan in 1904, and now the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have signed peace agreements with Israel, establishing normal diplomatic relations, and launching cooperative economic and other arrangements.
Stanford Oval
Analysis and Commentary

Politics On The Farm (Affectionately Known As Stanford)

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Every election cycle I report political donations and votes cast by thousands of faculty, staff, and students living in housing on the Stanford campus (zip code 94305). Political donations are reported to the Federal Election Commission and are reproduced on Open Secrets.

Analysis and Commentary

Is The United States Becoming A Banana Republic?

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Some pundits assert that the United States is becoming a “Banana Republic” under President Donald Trump. Is this so? Is this a fair metaphor?

Analysis and Commentary

Blacks Prefer Police To Social Workers

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

A recent poll revealed that 81% of Blacks wanted the same level or more police protection; only 19% wanted less.

Analysis and Commentary

Teaching Race And Ethnic Relations: 1975 Vs. 2020

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, August 19, 2020

On August 17, 2020, California’s Governor Newsom signed into law a requirement that every student enrolled in any of the 23 California State University Campuses take a course on ethnic studies as a graduation requirement. Options include courses on Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latina and Latino Americans.

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.



The Russian Economy