Free Trade and Migration of Peoples

Vox Day put out an interesting video about free trade:

His argument is that free trade necessitates the migration of people, which economists don’t take into account. Such migration destroys nations and families and is destabilizing, which is why Vox says free trade is worse than any form of government, including even communism.

However, to verify this, I would need to know if a greater percentage of Americans are working abroad now than in the past, and how this trend has evolved over time. And if so, if people are working abroad out of necessity because they cannot find suitable work domestically, not because they earn more money abroad which makes the trade-off worthwhile. So image if someone were presented the opportunity to either work domestically and make $100k or work abroad and make $200k. The first choice would be enough to make a living, but the second choice of earning more money makes the inconvenience worthwhile.

I also observe Vox moving the goalposts, first defining migration as between countries, and then latter in the video between states. Obviously, the latter bolsters his argument, but free trade is defined as trade between nations, not trade within nations. Vox first mentions the Dutch Ryan Air pilots having to move to Morocco. But then 25 minutes into the video he talks about regional labor mobility and how his own family has been displaced, and how fewer people grew up and work in the state they were born in.

Vox also mentions Marx as endorsing free trade because Marx prophesied that it would hasten the collapse of capitalism and the rise of revolution. In Marx’s own words:

We accept every thing that has been said of the advantages of Free Trade. The powers of production will increase, the tax imposed upon the country by protective duties will disappear, all commodities will be sold at a cheaper price. And what, again, says Ricardo? “That labour being equally a commodity, will equally sell at a cheaper price” — that you will have it for very little money indeed, just as you will have pepper and salt. And then, in the same way as all other laws of political economy will receive an increased force, a surplus of truth, by the realisation of Free Trade — in the same way the law of population, as exposed by Malthus, will under the reign of Free Trade develop itself in as fine dimensions as can possibly be desired. Thus you have to choose: Either you must disavow the whole of political economy as it exists at present, or you must allow that under the freedom of trade the whole severity of the laws of political economy will be applied to the working classes. Is that to say that we are against Free Trade? No, we are for Free Trade, because by Free Trade all economical laws, with their most astounding contradictions, will act upon a larger scale, upon a greater extent of territory, upon the territory of the whole earth; and because from the uniting of all these contradictions into a single group, where they stand face to face, will result the struggle which will itself eventuate in the emancipation of the proletarians.

However, that was over 150 years ago and there has been no revolution, and the data shows that crime and civil unrest in the U.S. is at multi-generation lows, so Marx was either wrong or early; my guess is the former.