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

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.

Analysis and Commentary

Words Vs. Deeds: Comparing Trump With Bush/Obama

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, March 19, 2018

How shall I criticize thee? Let me count the ways. Here is a list, in alphabetical order, of some of the harsh words that liberal Democrat and conservative Republican (anti-Trump) members of the Academic Political Media Industrial Complex (the establishment) use to describe President Donald Trump.

herbert hoover option
Analysis and Commentary

Herbert Hoover, A Good President Who Twice Lapsed From Grace

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Three new biographies have created renewed interest in Herbert Hoover, who served as president from January 1929 through January 1933. This affords an opportunity to weigh in on two policy failures that haunt his memory.

Analysis and Commentary

Common Data Set Comparisons Of First-Year, Non-Hispanic White Enrollment At Elite Private And Large Public Universities

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, March 8, 2018

Most, but not all, universities and colleges report information about their schools on a Common Data Set form. Some reports are several years old, most notably Harvard.

Analysis and Commentary

Sub-Saharan Africa Is Really Poor, Part Two

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, February 22, 2018

Transparency International has released its Corruption Perceptions Index 2017. (Click on link) The map reveals that Sub-Saharan Africa encompasses the most corrupt countries of any region or continent in the world.



The Russian Economy