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It's either a shoddy cop-out, or a trick that the Lich King played on us. If he makes us think "there must always be a Lich King," then he'll eventually convince someone to take up the position and provide himself with a host.
I bet "Uther" in ICC was either a fake, or being controlled by the Lich King when he said that. I mean, we were dealing with the master of all forms of undeath. I don't think he'd let one measly spirit slip out of line after what happened with the Forsaken.
The Scourge isn't doing that, Arthas was using them like they were a living army. He had them patrol, he had them mine, he had them working forges, he was arming and armoring his forces in the best metal he could find.
If there was no Lich King, the Scourge who were miners, or smiths, or what have you, those who had the most meaningless of tasks to those who were the front line soldiers would all just be set free to swarm and attack and destroy.
In essence, this boosts the Scourge numbers considerably, and it makes them even more implacable.
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