The idea of colonizing mars is no longer science fiction. It is no longer something only government can do. Done right it is affordable. Beyond that? It is a moral imperative. Why?
Poverty kills, not just as some abstract statistic, but literally. If we can do something about poverty but don't, that's immoral. On earth, government has a stranglehold on the people, and Orwellian double speak, rules. How do you know when a politician is lying? Their lips are moving. Liberty is considered an extremist position. Mars is a new world that can provide a fresh start. But the forces that oppose liberty have already tried to strangle this idea before it can even be born. It is strangled by ridicule of the very idea that freedom and individual liberty are possible. "It's too hard." "It cost too much." ...and similar rubbish. Mars doesn't need terraforming or any technology we haven't already demonstrated. It's habitable now. We have the technology now. It's time to go and we can. You can.
Colonizing mars will increase wealth and liberty (on both earth and mars) but only if the colonists have the right mind set. This blog is dedicated to proving that assertion.
We might as well start now. Not a single gram of matter need be transferred to the earth from space in order for space to increase the wealth on earth. All wealth is created out of nothing by trade (because the traders perceive the value of each others thing to be worth more to them than their own. The difference is an increase in wealth.) Trade is not the movement of objects, it is the transfer of ownership. Transfer of ownership can be and often is done electronically (think online stock exchange or more to the point, fiat currency.) A corporation may have all of it's assets working and exchanging materials on mars while at the same time having all of it's stock owned by people on earth. As that corporation does business on mars raising it's local value it raises it's value on earth at the same time.