It's just supply and demand. It's that simple. There's no grand conspiracy, and ammo manufacturers haven't cut back on production. Looking at our 22LR sales this year, it's obvious that the shortage is 100% consumer driven. The guys who normally buy 50-100 rounds a year to make it through squirrel season, are trying to stock up and buy 4-5 bricks at a time now. The guys who normally buy 2-3 bricks at a time are buying 2-3 cases at a time. You multiply that by all the 22LR shooters in the country, and there's just no way manufacturers can keep up. You also have to remember that there has been a huge spike in 22LR gun sales, now that other ammo is rising in prices. There are tons of new 22LR AR rifles on the market, and new pistols (SR22, M&P22, all the 1911 22s, etc). These guns are driving 22LR ammo sales much higher than it was 10-20 years ago.
Even the math adds up. CCI reportedly produces 6 million rounds of 22LR per day. 6 million rounds is only 12,000 bricks. So in a week's time (running 7 days a week), they would only produce about 84,000 bricks of 22LR ammo. There are about 130,000 gun dealers in the US, which means that CCI can only produce enough ammo for them to each get less than 1 brick of ammo per week. How long will a brick of 22LR ammo last at your local gun store? When you consider that the big stores are getting a case or two a week, most of the little guys aren't getting anything.
Think about what it would take for the shortage to end. How many bricks of 22LR could your local gun shop sell before customers stop buying it? 100? 500? In order to send 100 bricks of 22LR to every gun store in the nation, CCI would need to produce ammo 10+ times as fast as they currently are, just to catch up.