The FAA is the government's weapon of mass destruction that causes ongoing devastation to all of aviation, and excellent proof that we do not live in a free country.
I'd also put blame on TSA that makes boarding airlines miserable and they want to expand "security" into GA. Then you have local governments and officials trying to close down GA airports. Lots of examples of elected officials that tried to close Reid Hillview and Santa Monica along with huge following of general public ("why did they put that airport next to a shopping center?"). And there is big business itself expanding into open areas around airports squeezing out the private pilot. And consolidation of airlines of one company buying out others then nickel and diming over baggage, meals, etc. Note that GA and airline travel are two different classes of aviation. In some cases airline travel is expanding but overall GA is going down (I do wonder where future airline pilots will come from, as many got their start hanging out at GA airports which nowadays authorities will look at such lurkers as terrorists).