The United States of America is not only the richest nation in the world but also the most powerful. This combination of power and wealth places our country in the enviable position of being able to help the many nations that are less fortunate, particularly those affected by natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, and famine caused by drought. Yet a 2006 IMF working paper on the subject reported that of the donor nations around the world, the top four donor nations were the Netherlands and the three Scandinavian countries; the United States was among the three bottom nations (Gupta, Pattillo, & Wagh, 2006, p. 17). Should America contribute more? Indeed it should.
According to NationMaster.com, a site that derives data from the CIA World Factbook, the United States is not only the number one richest nation in the world, at a 2006 GDP of $13,201,820,000,000.00, it is magnitudes richer than the second richest nation, Japan, which had a GDP of only $4,340,133,000,000.00-approximately one-third of ours-the same year ("GDP (most recent) by country," 2006). Of the remaining 227 countries in the world, Tokelau's GDP was the lowest at only $1,500,000.00 ("GDP (most recent) by country," 2006).
The United States has always been a generous nation until recent years. Considering the United States' extreme wealth relative to every other nation on earth, it is curious that our contributions to Third World nations would be among the lowest three nations on the planet. One cannot help wondering why.
In a CATPRN Commissioned Paper on food aid policy, a study by Diven is cited that found that the U.S. food aid policy is "still viewed as being driven largely by domestic policy motivations" (Cardwell, Fridfinnson, & Rude, 2007, p. 4). In fact, food aid shipments consisted largely of foodstocks that the U.S. wants to get rid of anyway. In addition, "aid shipments are shown to be positive...