Internet commenters generally outshine media hack pundits. Here is a comment from Salon letters:
Why stimuli won't work!
The trouble with our economy is described widely as a growing loss of confidence by consumers as they witness their housing values fall and their 401Ks atrophied. Before August 2007 and the decline in housing prices, before August 2008 and the collapse of the stock market and investment banks, the economy was not sound. As has been noted by observers of our economy, salaries and wages have not kept pace with GDP growth since the 1970s. Our trade deficits have been reliably larger year by year. Our borrowing has mounted hugely with our each military enterprise.
We have an economy that produces mostly armaments and financial paper. Not many buyers for the financial paper any longer, and armaments cannot be eaten, worn, lived in or driven around town. They can be sold to other militaristic countries, and thus they are our greatest export.
Not until we start producing consumer goods of our own to fill the shelves of Wal-Mart and to sell overseas will our economy be healthy again. Stimulus is like adrenalin. It may keep the heart going for a while, but eventually the muscle dies.
I'd take it a step further and say we have to break the whole cycle of consumption and waste that results in this year's must-have doodads becoming next year's landfill, with heavy elements seeping into water tables, etc.
And this line from Josh Marshall's blog (by David Kurtz) takes an anthropological tack:
Former IMF chief economist Simon Johnson makes the fascinating point that breaking the back of the elites is a critical stage in crisis resolution in developing and post-communist countries -- a stage we have yet to go through in confronting our own crisis.