Go to Mars. *Stay there*. Don't return the Presbyterian astronauts back home to Ohio. Keep lobbing supplies at the colonists until they can sustain themselves. Why on earth do we keep trying to re-enact the Apollo fiasco? Colonize, or don't go. Plenty of older folk such as myself who would be glad of a few years of low G before we die while we build up the place for later arrivals. Dying there? The horror! Um, of course you'd die if you stay on Earth anyway. Dying on Mars would be more scenic, and your knees wouldn't hurt when you stand up.
Of course, Mars won't pay for itself as far as Earth is concerned, the way orbiting terraria and factories would. Less room, less opportunity, and yet another gravity trap on any planet. Mars is a place to colonize. It can't produce wealth for the old country. And colonies don't care about the old world much, so we're building a suburb that will home-rule faster than a town next door to a impoverished city.
Well, limited vision, but at least we'd have two baskets to put our eggs in.