(OK now I'm getting cranky) I blame a lot of this on Walmart, and that dreadful smiling thing that continues to knock back prices. Every time it knocks a few cents off of something, you know some producer somewhere (almost always in some developing country with a labour force paid pennies an hour) has been squeezed a little harder to produce it for less. It certainly isn't that Walmart is cutting its profit margin. Several members of the Walton family continue to be in the top ten richest people in the world. The Arkansas county where Walmart is headquartered has more millionaires than anywhere else. The trick here is that it controls more shelf space than anyone, and if you're a producer it's where you have to be, so when the Walmart buyer comes to town and says you've got to cut your price, you do it and take it out of someone else's hide to cut your costs. There has been the odd rumbling that U.S. states' Attorneys General should launch a combines/competition investigation into Walmart, but politicians know anyone who messes with a company that champions giving consumers cheaper prices won't get re-elected.
When I took economics at university (back in the Dark Ages) there was well-established economic theory that when producers are fairly paid (the people at the ground floor of the production cycle) that everyone benefits (more of a trickle up theory), because primary producers spend money to make more money, on lawyers, accountants, machinery shops, boat builders etc, and all get a piece of the action, and the money circulates (multiplies really, gets spent again and again) within a local economy. The trouble with trickle down is that the wealthy put their money into hedge funds or off-shore bank accounts, and it often disappears from the local economy very quickly.
Primary producers now aren't making any money, so spend less, and what money they do spend comes out of their equity (always a chance that things will get better, right??). It also supported manufacturing jobs (usually with unions), and a much larger middle class, which most agree offers the best social and economic stability. But those days are disappearing if not gone. And it gives the Walmart little smiley face all the more inmpact with people struggling to pay their bills.
For what it's worth, a little insight to our pals at Walmart (and I haven't fact-checked everything):