More than a few things are changing at the start of 2014. Looking just at the United States:
- A technical change in incandescent light bulbs will provide better lighting efficiency while increasing the price of the least expensive light bulbs.
- The Fed has announced it is reducing the scale of its monthly bond-buying program by 12 percent this month.
- There are a raft of tax changes, including the expiration of the sales tax deduction for federal income taxes, the expiration of deductions and tax credits for energy initiatives in many states, and sales tax on Amazon.com sales in many states. Many of the federal tax rules on health insurance are changing with the health care overhaul that goes into effect this year.
- Extended unemployment compensation expired this week (though some political observers think Congress might reverse this change next week).
- Smoking bans go into effect in many places, protecting people in public parks and children in cars from secondhand smoke. Dozens of jurisdictions are banning e-cigarettes.