But for a few people, getting their own island is not a dream, but rather a reality. This is the case of Larry Ellison, CEO and co-founder of information technology giant Oracle, who just purchased Lana'i, the sixth largest of the Hawaiian islands.
Lana'i is an island that has a history of private ownership, however its nickname is the "Pineapple Isle", which it got after it was purchased in 1922 by Dole Foods. The company then turned the Island into the world's biggest pineapple plantation. The Island has since been owned by Castle and Cook, a residential company based in Hawaii that has owned almost all of the territory of Lana'i for the last 5 decades. Now, Ellison owns 98% of the Island, with the other 2% belonging to the State of Hawaii.
Many can't help but wonder whether purchasing a private Island of 141 square miles could be a wasteful endeavor and just a sign of greed. It should be noted that there are other billionaires who own land that totals over 141 square miles, even if it's not in the form of an island like in Ellison's case.
Also, one needs to look at Ellison's achievements and interests, not only in the business world. Oracle's CEO is known for having a great passion for the environment and nature, as well as his participation in America's Sailing Cup. According to the Governor of Hawaii, Ellison is strongly involved in furthering educational causes, as well as various medical research projects. Therefore, it is doubtful that Ellison is some kind of evil villain who bought the Island just so he could have his own place to make schemes for world domination. Nor will he be building a giant diamond mine or turn the place into a giant dumping ground for toxic waste.
It is not like the 3,000 current residents of the Island are now having their homes razed and are forced to leave. The majority of the island was already owned by a private real estate company since the 1960s, so all that is happening is that a piece of private land is just changing ownership. It should also be noted that there hasn't been any strong opposition to Ellison purchasing the island either.
As long as the Island's people are able to continue living their lives as they were before, there is little reason to be opposed to the change of ownership. As the person who now owns it has a genuine interest in nature and has shown great generosity, it is highly probable that the whole purchase will have nothing but positive effects on the Island of Lana'i and on Hawaii itself.