Interestingly, the same things can be said about High Energy Physics - in the last half century, physicists have figured out the standard model of particle physics. Meanwhile, the cost of pushing back the energy frontier (cf LHC) is at the level where it funding is required from a large portion of the Western world to make a major discovery. Research is driven by grad students and post docs, most of whom can never get a permanent position, while funding is diminishing in real terms.
For me, the current academic system needs updating from the 19th century. It is bad for science not to make the change, because we see the good staff leaving to find a proper job.