By: Amoka Mele
Elysium is a 2013 American science fiction action film whose plot takes place on both a ravaged Earth and a luxurious artificial satellite named Elysium. In the movie, Earth’s citizens live in poverty. The rich and powerful live on Elysium. Elysium is technologically advanced, with devices called Med-Bays that can cure all diseases, reverse aging, and regenerate body parts. A feud exists between Elysium and Earth, whose residents want Elysian technology to cure their illnesses. Left entirely to centralized Democrat-led government control and continually rising state debt, such is the fate for Hawaii.
The first Elysium will not occur in space, but rather here on Earth in paradises just like Hawaii. It does not take much of an imagination to already see and hear the arrival of this inevitability here in the islands. People born here are leaving. Native Hawaiians own the fewest homes, make the least income, have the highest levels of crime, highest levels of drug and alcohol abuse, and the highest levels of being sexually exploited. They have the lowest income level, the lowest education levels, the poorest diets, the highest levels of obesity, and shortest lifespans of all the people in Hawaii.
When speaking with older Hawaii residents, you often hear their lamentations that they foresee becoming extinct in Hawaii by the end of the 21st century. Our citizens believe it and prophesize about it but they have little choice but to vote for the same people who are presiding over their extinction, election after election. Already Las Vegas, Nevada is known as Hawaii’s 9th island because the native Hawaiian community is the largest Pacific Islander group represented there. Many Hawaiians moved to Las Vegas due to economics, as the cost of living in Hawaii has become too expensive. The average Hawaiian home price is $850,000 to $900,000. That’s almost $3,500 to $4,000 in mortgage payments. Lower- and middle-income class Hawaiian families cannot afford to own their own homes here so they go to here they can.
Las Vegas became a perfect landing spot despite being farther away than cities on the West Coast. Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego or anywhere in California is probably just as prohibitive as Hawaii in terms of cost of living. Las Vegas offers not just Hawaiians but a lot of communities of color an opportunity and some have argued, one of the last opportunities to get a middle-class lifestyle.
In the years ahead, we continue to see fewer and fewer Native Hawaiians living in Honolulu and on the southside of Oahu. They cannot afford to live there and will move to the remaining areas on Oahu or the other islands still affordable. Eventually, we find them in pockets on the leeward and windward sides and on the other islands, but the Native Hawaii population itself will continue to shrink. The southside of Oahu to an extent will become the first Elysium because only the wealthy elite will be able to afford it.
The reason that I quality the first Elysium only to an extent is due to rising sea levels and more destructive weather patterns. In the next 80 years, we are going to see our beaches and coastal roads disappear. They are too expensive to maintain and will be too expensive to rebuild. We will be forced to rely on sea and air transportation to supply and support cut off population pockets. We have recently seen some mudslide cut off pockets on Kauai. It will only get worse. Getting to and from the pockets will become too much of an inconvenience for the people who live within them. Furthermore, as seas rise and weather worsens, the risks of them being entirely cut off for long periods of time will grow. They will move to lessen their fears of starvation, dying of thirst, or being without medical support stemming from being cut off.
As food, water, and medicine are brought to the pockets, drugs and alcohol will also find their way to them. We have seen this same phenomenon occur to isolated population pockets throughout history. Native American reservations had their “fire water”. During the pandemic and pandemic induced poverty seen over the last year and half, we have increased examples of people assuaging their worries with alcohol and drugs. Where there is elevated alcohol and drug abuse, there will be elevated crime. As the century progresses in Hawaii, we will see these isolated pockets of crime and poverty increasingly monitored by drones and robots, just like in Elysium. Live law enforcement officers will only deploy in force to the areas when necessary to make an arrest or to respond to massive unrest. The government may also make a more economical decision and that is, let the unrest continue to thin the poor herd and push the rest out of the state. We should expect to see pockets of lawlessness like in Portland the last two years in cut off areas like Laie, Kaaawa, Waianae, and Waimanalo.