Articles by Matthew Lau
By Matthew Lau
August 31, 2020
Matthew Lau argues Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s weakness is not her lack of qualifications but her insistence she can steer the economy while wearing sunglasses at night.
However, what Chrystia Freeland has proposed to do as finance minister – to reorganize the Canadian economy so as to make it more green, equitable, and inclusive – is an undertaking for which she is certainly not qualified It would, in fact, be a strong indication that Chrystia Freeland is well-suited to be finance minister if she admitted that she is not qualified to reallocate and bring under government control huge amounts of the national wealth in order to direct it towards uses that she feels most appropriate
July 31, 2020
Matthew Lau explains why the late eminent economist remains his personal hero. Hint: it has to do with letting individuals decide whether to wear army boots.
Contrary to popular belief, the cost of staffing the military, Friedman showed both in an essay in the New York Times Magazine in 1967 and in his regular columns in Newsweek magazine, was not made cheaper by conscription Shortly after his inauguration, Nixon appointed a commission of 15 people, incl...
June 29, 2020
Matthew Lau rejects as false and logically faulty the argument that Canada should keep out newcomers until the country’s employment levels return to pre-pandemic levels.
An immigration ban, according to the True North column, “will allow our economy to recover and prioritize new jobs to out-of-work Canadians, helping to reduce our historic high 13.7% unemployment rate This idea, then, that an immigration ban is needed to “allow our economy to recovery” and protect j...
April 28, 2020
COVID-19 has sparked calls to recover domestic production of goods from pharmaceuticals to personal protective equipment. Raising a contrary voice, Matthew Lau argues for recognizing globalization as the good that comes from economic interconnection.
His “shockproofing” column, which made the case for onshoring the production of PPE to achieve greater security at the expense of efficiency, prescribed subsidies and ongoing government support, as well as “managed trade” (as opposed to free trade) with China to ensure that Canada would not need to ...
April 7, 2020
Matthew Lau offers a perspective on Preston Manning’s new book, Do Something, which exhorts Canadians to rescue ethical democracy.
As Trudeau and Trump make poor role models for those who wish to make a positive mark on politics, Manning instead commends to readers the political career of William Wilberforce as someone with admirable ethics and as the leader of “one of the greatest issue campaigns ever conducted in the history ...
February 27, 2020
Contributor Matthew Lau argues education should be tailored to particular needs of students rather than cultivating elementary common life. What do Convivium readers think? We’d love to have your voice join the conversation.
The main point here is that a one-size fits all curriculum designed by provincial bureaucrats will inevitably give students much information that they will never use and that will crowd out the opportunity to gain more useful knowledge All the things that we are told students must learn more about –...
January 3, 2020
Canadians’ charitable donations as percentage of their income are at a 20-year low. Substituting government services in place of charitable gifts is not a worthy trend, writes contributor Matthew Lau.
If people really thought the government was more effective than charitable organizations at reducing poverty and improving social welfare then instead of donating to charity, they would donate to the government by deliberately remitting to the Canada Revenue Agency more than the taxes they are requi...
November 18, 2019
Contributor Matthew Lau argues leaving the Microsoft mega billionaire’s wealth in his own hands contributes trillions more to the common good than taxing away his entire fortune.
Upon seeing Bernie Sanders recently musing about taxing Bill Gates $100 billion to “end homelessness and provide safe drinking water to everyone in this country,” economist Russ Roberts quite rightly pointed out that $100 billion is a mere two per cent of the federal budget Even supposing Bernie San...
October 16, 2019
Given that most election platforms amount to buying votes with other people’s money, writes Matthew Lau, it’s the rich who pay, the poor who suffer, and the middle class that scoops up the winnings.
In their quests to appeal to the middle class, the Liberal, NDP and Green platforms have to varying degrees proposed punitive taxes on the rich; all the major parties (including the Conservatives) have presented a bag of spending goodies to target middle class voters; and none have much of a plan to...
September 12, 2019
Matthew Lau argues setting the ideal annual number of newcomers to Canada makes as much sense as predicting the number of ice cream cones Torontonians will eat on the weekend.
Why then, when it comes to a much more important and complex question than ice cream cones – namely, the number of people who should be allowed to immigrate to Canada annually – should anybody have any faith in the federal government to correctly set the quantity? The answer is that they shouldn’t –...
April 9, 2019
Alberta’s charter schools outperform their government-run counterparts yet local school boards have an effective veto over their existence. That makes as much sense, contributor Matthew Lau argues, as letting Harvey’s decide what’s served at the Golden Arches.
Charter school applications can be denied by the province, as two were in 2016 by the education minister because the charter schools were deemed too similar to what was offered in traditional public schools If parents had more ability to move their children out of the underperforming traditional pub...