Like I said in the comment: if management is so poor that they cannot do their job to motivate people and then cannot do their job to fire those people they fail to motivate then how can we blame those who are (mis)managed as "dead wood"? Clearly the layoffs are not coming from the middle managers who didn't do their job in the first place but from some "executive level" efficiency expert.
At Juniper (following Microsoft) they opted for a "bottom 20%" policy of requiring that 20% of every group be identified as a low performer. A group could have the best (or the worst) team but one in five had to be given a warning-you-must-improve-or-be-terminated rating. Guess who got these ratings? People management didn't like. The best managers assigned the failing ratings to themselves as an act of protest and quit. The demoralizing effects of such a system were clear. People started to churn to keep their jobs but churn isn't adding value, it's appearing valuable.
Have you never worked at a job with morale destroying management? Have you never read Dilbert?
In my experience unproductive people are poorly managed, poorly motivated, poorly trained - and are rarely simply unproductive but demoralized and badly lead.
It is blaming the victim to call people who are laid off "dead wood". Bad management is all too common in IT.
Layoffs are the product of bad management, not poor work forces.