If a company doesn’t have attractive growth opportunities, it needs to reduce expenses where it can and return more to the shareholders. That’s part of the reason that many economists believe that companies shouldn’t pay taxes, instead, that money should go back to individuals, etc. where it is taxed at whatever rate is applicable.
In free markets (a smaller part of the economy than most believe) we are seeing price declines in many categories but those that the government gets deeply involved in (healthcare and education to name two), there is “cost plus” inflation driven by non economic factors (and many of these may be what we want). But it’s quite a challenge.
Government is pretty lousy at directing the economy. Too many decisions to make and little time to make them. It never works.
I think worker mobility (nice comment below from Vinnie) is key and I’m in favor of a Universal Basic Income for all Americans and then eliminate zillions of programs and trust individuals to make their best decisions. Socialism for the lower end while retaining individual choice, or “socialism supplements” and then totally free markets wherever we can get them.