According to this Bureau of Labor Statistics pdf, real per capita GDP, in 2002 dollars, was $19,144 in 1970 and $38,392 in 2004. That means that, per capita, we were nearly exactly twice as rich two years ago than we were 36 years ago. This is great news!
Except I don't feel twice as rich as people in 1970. Do you?
If we are really twice as rich, why do we still have to work five days per week and only get two weeks of vacation?
Assuming ten holidays and ten vacation days per year, then the workyear is 241 days. My reckoning is that we could increase vacation to six weeks, and reduce workdays to four days per week, and still have a workyear consisting of 176 days. If per capita GDP really increased by 100%, surely we could reduce the workyear by 27%?
Assuming a linear relationship between time worked and GDP, going to a four day workweek with six weeks of vacation would still leave us with a per capita GDP that's 46% greater than in 1970, and that's pretty good. It's not like 1970 was a time of great poverty.
Furthermore, current per capita GDP would actually be more than 46% greater than 1970, because GDP is a combination of both labor and capital. If we reduce labor input by 27% but capital remains the same, then the decline in output should be somewhat less than 27%. GDP might decrease by only 14%. In which case we'd be 72% wealthier than in 1970 but have a massive amount of additional free time.