Computers and the internet have opened up writing tools to a wider audience than ever before. This means that where a publisher used to have a steady stream of manuscripts showing up from unknowns, they now have a veritable tsunami.
If nothing else, the physical process of typing up, editing, proofreading (and copying) your manuscript before paying postage costs just to put it into an editor's hands, used to keep the flow of new stuff down to a reasonable level.
These days, everyone has a printer and FedEx office nearby, and e-mail costs almost nothing. So you not only have to compete with the current economic conditions (the downturn in general, and the rapidly changing world of publishing), you also have to compete with every other person out there who can now write their novel and get it out the door.
In short, you can get published, but the sheer volume of competition is making it harder and harder. If you really want to do it, persevere - keep writing, keep submitting — and make sure you follow any relevant guidelines!