While modern technology has made it possible in principle for the resources of the entire globe to be at the disposal of every community, many villages are in fact cut off from these necessities. The high cost of training discourages technical self-sufficiency within the community, which continues to rely on services from outside - the high salaries demanded by vocational teachers admit few skilled instructors. Facilities such as health clinics may be built only to be left partially unused because local people have not been able to meet the expense of equipment and personnel. Decreasing agricultural resources at the local level force more outside purchasing. This spirals prices upward.
In fishing communities, boats and equipment to go further for larger fish are economically out of reach, so local waters become over-fished, further decreasing income and buying power.
From a two-year period ending in 1981 to a two-year period ending in 1990 the real prices of basic foods fell 38 percent on world markets, according to a 1992 United Nations report. Prices for food have continually decreased since the end of the eighteenth century, when Thomas Malthus argued that rapid population growth must lead to mass starvation by exceeding the carrying capacity of the earth.