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Face-less industry BigCo's is another thing.

Startups are more personal, small teams, that once in a while all of them, including the "boss", gather together to drink a beer or soda, and you know that on that table, people with same responsibilities have same compensations. It feels fair.

If anything, it would seem un-fair to pay a US-based programmer the same salary as to someone working from India. Just look at it from the US guy perspective.

From US guy PoV: Gee, this guy does the same work as I do, but he's paid 5 times less... something is wrong with our company.

There are reasons US guy won't want to live in India, right? So the salary should compensate at least some part of those reasons (I mentioned in another comment here).

Most people with jobs from poor countries have to support way many family members or relatives than that US guy.

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