Via smarterfolks, a nifty illustration that GDP isn’t all that matters in life. For all of the phenomenal productivity in the US economy (and, for that matter, Canada’s), we’re among the world’s laggards when it comes to providing paid vacation (pdf link).
Sorry, that image is kind of hard to read—but the upshot is that the United States is the only industrial democracy that doesn’t guarantee full-time workers any annual paid leave. Japan, second worst among the nations studied, assures its workers at least 10 paid leave days per year; and Canada, third worst among the nations studied, assures 18 days between holidays and vacation.
To be clear: most US workers do, in fact, get some paid leave. In fact, if you look at national averages, workers with a few decades of tenure under their belts work their way up getting 18 or 19 days off a year. Of course, that’s rougly Canada’s minimum allotment of paid time off; and Canada is pretty sorry by international standards.
So really: what good is all that productivity if you don’t get time off to enjoy it?