Buying used and having “your guy” build something supports the side hustle/gig economy, but you can’t build an entire middle class from that. In many ways, it’s better now than it was back then. Realistically, the qualily of most goods was lower back in the day- cars are a good example. Fit, finish, engineering, all better now (in total, everyone knows someone that has an anecdote, of course)... if it weren’t, the average age of the US vehicle fleet wouldn’t be going up. The complexity of products is an order of magnitude higher now, and in many cases they still perform. I’ve been in manufacturing for 21 years now, and I don’t think there are any quick fixes to this.