This retired investor uses ARCC as an income generator. For me - ARCC is a bond substitute. Compare it to the junk bond ETFs of JNK and HYG. Both of them have had falling dividends - and offered lower yields. If your goal is to max out your total return - then in the current environment, ARCC - and 95% of the fellow BDCs - are not for you. But for retired middle income investors who want and need to generate income, ARCC has filled that need. This is not a "one size fits all" kind of stock. Dang! Most stocks are not that kind of stock.
Retired just like you but look at VZ not only has the stock gone up so has the dividend. Nothing wrong with both dividend going up instead of the same over the years and stock value going up. Back in the 80s was getting 13% triple tax exempt but those days are gone. Will predict with this Fed may see those rates again. JMHO