Speed Reads

Today in charts

Americans are the most pointlessly overworked people in the world

If there's anything most presidential candidates can agree on, it's that Americans are generally "hardworking." It's a nearly constant point of positive reference. But are we working too much?

Over at Demos, Matt Bruenig came up with a clever way of thinking about this. In general, as countries become richer and more productive, they work less and less, since they can produce more with the same effort. Plot hours worked per person versus GDP per hour worked, and you can produce a trend line. Those above the line work unusually hard, while those under it do the opposite.

So who works the hardest, controlling for relative wealth? Americans, by far:

Always remember: The U.S. could easily afford a great deal more vacation days.