For the past... I don't know, hundred years? It feels like it's been a hundred years since this recession began. Perhaps fewer. Anyhow, things have been bleak for a while. But unwrap your lips from that loaded handgun, poverty-stricken American: things are statistically better than you thought!

No, continuing to read this post will not earn you any money. You just read it for satisfaction, that's it. I have no change. Sorry. What I'm telling you is that the Census Bureau is coming out with an updated, more accurate measure of poverty, which takes into account more factors than previous measures, and under which "as much as half of the reported rise in poverty since 2006 disappears."

Congratulations! Millions of you are officially doing better than you were yesterday, in an abstract statistical sense.

But wait, there's more. Were you concerned about the fact that your crushing student debt makes you part of the most student-loan-having generation in history? Look on the fabled bright side: thanks to increased grant aid, the average net price of attending a public, four-year college is... only $170 higher than five years ago. (And cheaper at private and community colleges.) So if you thought that you, the college student of today, were paying way more than the college students of yesteryear, relax. You're really not.

You just won't be able to get a job.

Abstract statistical comfort! It's the only comfort you're gonna get.

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