Both of these pieces discuss a cause and effect relationship between the United States and another country. Divakaruni’s Live Free and Starve discusses child laborers in Third World countries. The United States passed a law saying that we would not purchase goods produced by children in factories, but this didn’t really help the children in the way they had hoped. Javdani’s Plata o Plomo: Silver or Lead discusses the production of drugs in Colombia. So many drugs are imported to the United States meaning there is a great demand. Where there is demand, there is supply and this comes from the very violent country of Colombia.
The actions of the United States have good intentions, but don’t quite get the results intended. In the issue of the child laborers in Third World countries, we thought that if we just stop purchasing these items things will be better. What really happened though was that the children were not released and were forced to stay in very small, unventilated areas without moving. The way to improve this situation would be to put into effect schools or safe areas for the children to go to because they are not allowed to work. We have to actually take action instead of just passing a law. If they can get the children free from their “owners,” and into these schools, we will be successful in reducing the problem of child laborers.
In the case of drug trafficking, the United States needs to reduce its demand for drugs. When the demand goes down, the supply will not be necessary. The government in Colombia is very violent when it doesn’t get what it wants. The United States often feels that sending money to the country will help with the situation, but then don’t monitor what the money is used for. It’s almost like we’re supporting the government by doing this, which is not the intention. They way to improve this is to monitor what the money is used for, and to reduce the demand for drugs. I believe this will help the situation in Colombia greatly.