On September 11th and 12th 2008 the first SMC Symposium was held in Vienna, Austria at the Belvedere Campus with guest speakers Dr Alvin Rabushka, Ph.D. (father of the Flat Tax) from the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and Dr Pinera, Ph.D. (one of the famous Chicago Boys, father of the modern Pension System) of the Cato Institute.

It was a truly wonderful experience to meet everyone from the faculty, administration, guest speakers and naturally fellow students.

Below you can see photos from the event, including some from: the Belvedere Palace grounds where SMC is located, the first day events, evening out together along with the second day events.


It is our pleasure to provide the biography of our honored guests and speakers at the 2008 SMC Symposium for your interest.

Dr Jose Pinera

Ph.D. – Cato Institute

Dr Piñera received an M.A. and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and is distinguished senior fellow and co-chairman of Cato Institute’s Project on Social Security Choice and Founder and President of the International Center for Pension Reform.

Formerly Chile’s Secretary of Labor and Social Security, he was the architect of the country’s successful reform of its pension system. As Secretary of Labor, Piñera also designed the labor laws that introduced flexibility to the Chilean labor market and, as Secretary of Mining, he was responsible for the constitutional law that established private property rights in Chilean mines. Dr. Piñera now advises governments throughout the world on the establishment of personal account retirement systems. He has written for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Wired, and several other publications.

Click Here To Navigate To The Cato Institute Website

Dr Alvin Rabushka

Ph.D. – Hoover Institution of Stanford University

Dr Alvin Rabushka is the author or coauthor of more than 20 books in the areas of race and ethnicity, aging, taxation, state and local government finances, and economic development.

Dr Alvin Rabushka is the David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.

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.

With Michael S. Bernstam, he maintains the website In 1998, he published Fixing Russia’s Banks: A Proposal for Growth (with Michael S. Bernstam). Together they are completing a longer study of the Russian economy entitled, From Predation to Prosperity: How to Move from Socialism to Markets.

Rabushka 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 Famefor 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 1994 in Estonia, followed by Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Romania, Slovakia, Georgia, Mongolia, Mauritius, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic.

Rabushka received his A.B. in Far Eastern studies from Washington University (St. Louis) in 1962, followed by his M.A. and Ph.D. 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.

Click Here To Navigate To The Hoover Institution Website