Every once in a while I toy with the thesis that someone ought to make a big deal about the fact that a lot of the standard statistical data about the United States that we track is of a kind of low quality. One noteworthy example is the poverty rate formula, which is basically nonsense. Apparently Barack Obama believes we should change it. This is a good idea on many levels, though one issue any time you change anything like this is that you don't want to lose the ability to track trends across time.
Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.