'04 The Issues: Is Your Job Going Abroad?

As the debate about exporting work from America dominates the presidential campaign, voters need to separate myth from reality. A TIME guide to how we got here--and why short-term pain might translate

Rosen Sharma is sure about one thing. His nine-month-old company, Solidcore, a start-up that makes backup security systems for computers, could not survive without outsourcing. By lowering his development costs, the 18 engineers who work for him in India for as little as one-fourth the salary of their American counterparts allow him to spend money on 13 senior managers, engineers and marketing people in Silicon Valley. If he doesn't outsource, in fact, the venture capitalists who fund start-ups like his won't give him a nickel. Sharma's Indian-American team, tethered by a broadband connection, gets his product in front of customers faster...

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