Within the last few years, people throughout the world's most advanced economies have become acutely worried about the economic prowess of China, India, and other emerging countries with large low-wage populations. They fear for their own jobs and for their children's future in a world where they must compete alongside the world's poorest. Those fears are testing political leaders in the world's richest countries.
Newspaper stories are an indicator of this rising concern. I searched the Lexis-Nexis database of English-language newspaper stories around the world that contained all three of the words "outsourcing," "jobs," and "India." In 1999, Lexis-Nexis produced only 39 stories; by 2003, there were 749 stories. In the first six months of 2004, there were already 1208 stories. The results were much the same when I searched "outsourcing," "jobs", and "China."
I found similar growth in the use of these three terms together when I searched in French, German, Italian, and Spanish: 90% of the stories were in 2003 and 2004.
Why this explosion of concern? After all, advanced countries have been losing manufacturing jobs to less developed countries for more than fifty years.