It seems that people in small-scale subsistence-based societies make a living through hunting and gathering and sharing/trading. In Ongka's Big Moka they did this through pigs, and turtles in the Miskito tribe. They both are very dependent upon these animals to provide them with what they need. This system allows for social interactions between various people and closeness among the community. Because these people gather enough just to survive, they avoid depleting their resources. One of the difficulties they face is dealing with natural disasters. What do they do when their resources get destroyed because of a drought, flood, etc? Another difficulty is dealing with the pressure to change and keep up with technology. This system differs from our own market-based capitalist system in that focus is placed on the individual, rather than the community. Everyone thinks of themselves and how to invest their money to make profit.
Modernization and the global economic system and negatively affecting these small-scale societies. For the Miskito tribe, it has caused the turtle population to decline. Once the turtle population becomes depleted, how will this society make a living since it was what they depended on for income? This is also causing some conflict in some societies about whether or not they should stick to their original cultural ways or conform to the current system.