As far as I can tell from reading op-eds about the need for a second stimulus, this is how things got to be the way they are:
? After the financial crisis everyone got scared about the future and stopped buying the crap they don’t really need.
? The companies that make the crap people don’t really need, anticipating a decline, laid off people, sometimes preemptively.
? The laid-off people then had to stop buying not only crap they don’t really need but some of the things they actually do need.
? That affected the companies who make things people really need, and so they laid off people too.
? If everybody would just start buying stuff they don’t really need then pretty soon everyone would be able to buy the stuff they really need.