People that know me might have dismissed it because it is very much like some of my old plans but that would ignore the significant difference this new plan contains. First let's get rid of some ridiculous arguments against it...
"the implication of your argument is that mars real estate will never be owned." One can only hope that by the time colonization of Mars becomes practical that we will be beyond ownership of material things...Obviously, JamesG watched too much StarTrek or is the result of a good American education thanks to the progressive lefties that have taken over our school system for the last century. I refute this in my original post but don't feel the need here. Anybody that accepts this drivel doesn't have the brain cells to understand a rational argument.
The plan is simple and basic. We buy tickets with money held in trust. That's it. The rest is detail.
The people putting money into this trust are taking an adult risk that is mitigated by a number of factors. First is that the money is going into a trust. They call it a trust for a reason. Practically speaking, a trust is a company that hold money and property for others based on a written agreement. It's very common although our use of the trust might be considered new (or not.)
The trust then is the pivot of the plan. Money goes in. Money goes out.
People are taking a risk that their deed is more than a novelty deed. That is certainly true. It is more than a novelty simply because of how the money going in will go out. It will pay for ventures that will enforce those property claims by the most solid historical basis, possession.
This is the least controversial aspect. We're simply going to buy tickets. Those tickets contain all the profit motivation required to make it happen. The tickets for the first colonists will cost about twice that of all those that follow because additional supplies will be required to ensure the survival of the first group. All groups following will be supported by those that went before.
Who's going to sell those tickets? Anybody that wants the profit. That includes Elon Musk who has already announced a ticket price goal of $500k. My plan doesn't wait for Elon because we assume the ticket price to be over $250m per person at first. We expect it will soon be practical to put a dozen on mars for $4b with enough profit to provide incentive. When ticket prices come down that just means more people will have enough in their trust account to pay for these new lower prices.
In other words, anyone that thinks we are going to be able to go to mars someday has just been shown how it's paid for. You should be getting excited and on board rather than all the lack of enthusiasm you visionaries of the future are generating now.
If it makes you feel better tell everybody it's your plan.
All groups following will be supported by those that went before.
Why am I repeating myself? Because this is a very important aspect of the plan. Some object because they think those colonist will never be independent and will always require support from earth. Let's not argue. Let's say you're right (ok, I'm not going to argue. I'm not.) The new colonists will bring that earth support of things the colonists can not produce themselves (which does not include the fundamental requirement for life that they certainly can produce ISRU. We already know how they can do that.) It's the new colonists property which they can trade with the old for the support they need to get started on a new life. Win/win for everybody.
So who's going to establish this trust and get the ball rolling? I would think this would fit well with Mars Ones plans but there are others like space adventures that might take up the challenge. Mars One seems a good choice because media will be an important factor and they have a media agenda.
Update: There is a simple mitigation of the 'Chinese land grab' scenario. Part of the trust agreement can include an option for changing property from contested to uncontested should that scenario become a reality.
Update: To increase the odds of this being viable we can first select a few dozen colonists and limit sales to their land holdings. Once we reach a certain threshold we open up sales to all other holdings. Opening up other sales allows those to throw their support to others increasing their holdings to greater than $250m (or simply increasing it enough for current ticket prices whatever they may be.)
The trust contract would ensure all money is distributed based on reality on the date of disbursement or refunds based on other contingencies.
Check out Rand. Check out Uwingu.