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Reader questions how economy got into such a bad state

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I am really curious as to why our economy got into such a bad state in such a short time? I know the war was very expensive but it took much more than that for us to be in the state we now find ourselves in.
The banks going bankrupt, the companies closing, housing construction going deeper and deeper into the ground. Gas, food and the trickle-down effect on everything and everyone? The sick, disabled, people who can work but can’t find jobs?
Why not give at least a part of this stimulus package to construction companies, to keep the housing market going? To all the small restaurants having to close? The stores that are closing?

All of these small companies make up millions of people. This way, maybe we wouldn’t have to keep extending unemployment so long.
Why only to the big car dealerships and banks? I know there is a trickle-down effect but there could also be a trickle-up effect too. The more people working, the more money spent.
It must have taken much longer than the last six months to a year for our economy to fall apart like it has. Why has the government from the top to the bottom let it go this far before doing anything about these problems?
We are worse off than we have ever been. Isn’t this the worse economic depression since the Great one? Maybe even worse?
Look at the thousands of people forced out of their homes, jobs, companies, etc. This has had to be going on and getting more severe for many years.
I would just like a simple explanation for why all this has happened now. In simple words, that the average person can understand. I am sure there are many more people who feel the same, and would like some of these answers as well.

(Last Thursday,) I watched the 11 p.m. news. It said our governor might lay off 20,000 state workers (last Friday). How does that make sense? Putting them on unemployment, knowing there are not many jobs right now? Many won’t be able to live on unemployment so isn’t this just making the problem worse? Doesn’t this unemployment money come from the state of California?
I only wish someone could help me to understand all that is going on right now.
Sharon Harness
Lincoln