The point is not circular. It is "it does not work and nobody with development skills care enough, so don't make it work".
Except that there are contemporary lightweight distributions, even if sometimes not based on glibc. Indeed, glibc bloat is probably the reason for which new distros are slow. The kernel isn't light either - Matt Mackall has been working on Linux-tiny, but most developers are happy to trade memory for speed, from the point of view of a 486 user, and they are indeed right: by current standards, nobody would say they trade memory for speed so easily :-).