For the past decade Maui has enjoyed one record year of tourism after another. Up until March visitor spending had reached record levels of $500 Million. Per Month!
Since the Covid-19 panic it’s plummeted to zero. The mayor has already announced a 20% wage cut for all county employees, and lots more budget cuts are coming.
For the past few years Maui has enjoyed one of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States – 1.5 to 2%.
Unemployment in Hawaii is now approaching 25%, making it the highest rate in the country. What a difference two months can make!
What’s the unemployment rate now? We don’t even know yet. The State Unemployment Office’s computer system can’t keep up with the applications. We’re being told, “Just keep trying, you’ll get in eventually.”
Statewide applications have zoomed from 9,000 a month to 22,000 a day. And that’s just the applicants who managed to log in and apply.
On May 1st the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced that it distributed $87,521,534 in unemployment insurance benefits over the past week. That’s up from the $68,097,470 paid out in the previous week.
Things I See in my Crystal Ball
– by Dr. Jim Carey
Within a few weeks, roving Bands of Babes will strip the island of edibles.
Unemployed maids and waitresses will soon be roaming the island looking for food, and harvest anything even remotely edible.
People will soon rediscover grass as a good source of nutrition. Juicers and blenders will be in high demand, and landscapers will augment their income by selling their lawnmower clippings.
Within a year the population of Maui will go from 144,000 residents to 100,000 as people flee to the mainland in search of jobs.
May 4, Kihei – Precursors of the onslaught, armed with rake and a crutch.
Gas prices will remain at record lows, but food prices will skyrocket due to shortages nationwide.
Maui farmers will become the nouveau riche as they seek to ship their products to the Pacific Rim, and locals will seek to prohibit the export of locally grown food, just as they’ve banned the export of coral, rocks and sand.
Within two years Maui’s financial inability to maintain the highways will result in the crumbling of Maui’s infrastructure. Landslides due to rain and waves will wash major portions of the Hana Highway into the sea.
A road trip to Hana will become a major adventure fraught with perils.
A Maui fixer-upper, on the beach. Currently priced at $4.9 Million.
Maui residential real estate prices will plummet. How low depends on how long the depression lasts on the mainland, how bad things get there, and how long people continue to be afraid to travel.
In hard times one of the first things people do is sell their vacation home. With nearly half of Maui homes being owned by non-residents, prices can drop dramatically with any major sell-off.
Look for a decline of at least 10%, and if the development of a vaccine is delayed, and people continue to fear traveling, prices could drop 25% or more.
Right now there are 18,000 idle rental cars parked at Kahului airport.
Unable to sell their inventory or ship cars elsewhere profitably due to the global recession, rental car agencies will auction their inventories to the highest bidder, and Maui will become the auto parts yard of the Pacific for late-model vehicles.
This will become a major industry on Maui, subsidized by USPS, Fedex and UPS, because will give them round-trip profitability when delivering to Maui.
Within three years the extreme winter weather conditions caused by global warming will cause the summit of Haleakala to be snow-covered for most of the year, instead of the handful of winter days that it currently experiences these conditions.
- by Molly Somerset
- Editor-In-Chief of Planet Maui
Dr. Jim, the author of this article, is the webmaster and creator of this website, PlanetMaui.com.
Theoretically I’m his boss. But Dr. Jim has super-admin over the entire website, and with a simple password change he can lock any, or all, of us out.
Normally he spends his day making our posts spin around and slide up and down. Upon occasion he submits an article for the website, and I always publish it because it’s either really insightful or really funny.
He’s also an acclaimed writer, with at least five published books.
When Dr. Jim submitted this article to me, I didn’t know whether to publish it or not, because I don’t know if it’s facetious, sarcastic, humorous, or if he’s dead serious.
When I confronted him he said, “Who cares? Run it.”
Most of the time Dr. Jim is open and forthcoming and fun to be around. But sometimes when you walk into his office he’ll slap the cover of his laptop down. If I ask, “What are you working on?” he’ll reply, “Can’t tell you. Classified.”
Interesting strangers show up at the office looking for Dr. Jim. He’ll introduce them around. “This is xxxxxx. She’s in charge of all the file servers for the country of zzzzzzzz. You can’t tell anybody her name.” Another great one was, “I’d like you to meet aaaaaa. He’s the head of computer security for the government of bbbbbbb at cccccc.” Then, on the way out the door Dr. Jim said, “Oh, by the way, he wasn’t here.”
Dr. Jim’s pretty open about himself at http://jimcarey.tel. I’ve read his resume, and you can too, at http://jimcarey.us/jimcareyresume.htm. It seems to be an open secret that he was some sort of spook for the US Government, working in Eastern Europe during the fall of Communism.
Depending on who’s on the phone, he speaks French, Spanish, Russian, German, Czech and a bunch of other languages none of us recognize.
So when Dr. Jim submitted this article I asked him, “Do I classify this as news or humor? Is it factual or sarcastic, facetious, prophecy or… what?”
He replied, “Yes.”