059: The Pandemic’s Widespread Impact as Supply Chain Issues Continue + How to Tell When the Economy’s Boom Cycle is Ending with Adam Kaat and Murray Sabrin, Ph.D.

In this episode of Saving With Steve, host Steve Sexton is joined by Adam Kaat, the author of, “Life on the Grocery Line: A Frontline Experience in a Global Pandemic,” and Dr. Murray Sabrin, Emeritus Professor of Finance at Ramapo College, and the author of, “Navigating the Boom/Bust Cycle: An Entrepreneur's Survival Guide.”

We have heard so much about the frontline workers at hospitals, and are very grateful for those doctors, nurses, and other individuals. But, we don’t hear so much from the other frontline workers, such as the cashiers and stock clerks at our local grocery stores, that have worked so hard to make sure we can get food on our tables. Those workers had to navigate their safety concerns, anxious, angry, frighten shoppers.

My first guest, Adam Kaat, is a Denver writer who took a job stocking shelves to support himself while writing and then found himself in the middle of a global pandemic. He joins me today to share how it felt to be an essential worker on the frontlines during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and how it was a true test of endurance, consisting of plenty of uncertainty, anxiety, and revelations along the way.

The end of the “everything bubble” is upon us. Despite the efforts of the Federal Reserve to strengthen the U.S. economy, it instead creates unsustainable booms that inevitably lead to busts. Based on several indicators, the next bust may be just around the corner. 

Leading indicators that signal the beginning of the end of a cyclical boom are lining up — from a downturn in the unemployment rate, to accelerating inflation, to an inverting yield curve (which in 2019 suggested a recession in 2020, but that the pandemic altered). Given the signs, the recession will begin in the fall of 2023. But, if the recession doesn’t begin on schedule, it only means it has been postponed, not eliminated. 

My second guest, Murray Sabrin, PhD, is emeritus professor of finance, at Ramapo College of New Jersey and the author of, “Navigating the Boom/Bust Cycle: An Entrepreneur's Survival Guide.” He joins me today to discuss what common traits boom-bust cycles possess, what clues businesses can look for that portend an end to a boom cycle, why policymakers keep making the same poor decisions, and what measures businesses can take to weather a bust.

Adam Kaat began working as a cashier at a high-end grocery store, in an affluent neighborhood at the beginning of 2020.

By March, the world was falling apart from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Adam started writing, “Life On The Grocery Line: A Frontline Experience in a Global Pandemic,” as a way to deal with the turmoil he began to see unfold before him as the structures of American and Global society broke down.

Learn more about Adam and his book at: LifeOnTheGroceryLine.com.

"On his first day as a cashier at Dream Grocers, Daniel imagines that the worst he’ll have to deal with on the job are the occasional grumpy customers and long days on his feet. But in just one week’s time, reality changes entirely as the COVID-19 pandemic creates a frenzied panic throughout Daniel’s home state of Colorado. Now, he’s suddenly being called a hero just for showing up at his job, and he isn’t sure how to feel about that. As the uncertainty and paranoia around the virus spread rapidly, Daniel tries to stay afloat and not let the irate hordes of customers bring him down. He learns more than he ever expected to about humanity’s response to fear, observing most prominently the way that some people look down on the very workers they deem “essential.”

Dr. Murray Sabrin is Professor of Finance in the Anisfield School of Business at Ramapo College of New Jersey. He has been a member of the faculty since 1985. He has a Ph.D. in economic geography from Rutgers University, an M.A. in social studies education from Lehman College, and a B.A. in history, geography and social studies education from Hunter College.  

Sabrin has worked in commercial real estate sales and marketing, personal portfolio management, and economic research.  He is also co-founder and president of Inversquare LLC, manufacturer and distributor of Conger LH™, the world’s first Lubrihibitor™.

Sabrin’s articles have appeared in The Record (Hackensack, NJ), The Star Ledger, Trenton Times, the Asbury Park Press, and NJBIZ. His essays have also appeared in Commerce Magazine, Mid-Atlantic Journal of Business, and Privatization Review, and www.lewrockwell.com. He is the author of Tax Free 2000: The Rebirth of American Liberty. Sabrin is a contributing columnist for www.politickernj.com.

Sabrin was the Libertarian Party nominee for governor in 1997, and was the first third party candidate to participate in the official debates with the two major candidates.  In 2000 and 2008, he sought the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. In 2007, Dr. Sabrin and his wife, Florence, made a $250,000 gift to Ramapo College to establish the Sabrin Center for Business Excellence in the Anisfield School of Business.

Dr. Sabrin arrived in America with his parents and older brother on August 6, 1949. His parents were the only members of their respective families to survive the Holocaust. He became a U.S. citizen in 1959 at age 12, and was graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1964.

Dr. Sabrin's new book is Navigating the Boom/Bust Cycle: An Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide. (Business Expert Press, Oct. 1, 2021).