September 29, 2016 At 6:35 AM
Let’s say that the first group of colonists rip a space suit and need a new one. Space suits are expensive, transporting them to Mars isn’t free. These colonists do represent a market, but in order to supply that market, they have to produce new wealth to trade for that space suit. Even if there were pure refined gold just sitting there waiting to be scooped into bins, you could not bring it back to earth and sell it for a profit. How are the colonists going to pay for that space suit, or anything else they need?
Great question Michael and the answer is simple.
A colonist damages his (or her) personal spacesuit beyond the ability of martian industry to repair. He contacts a colonist on earth preparing to leave for mars arriving perhaps a year in the future (a 3 month trip available every 26 months.) They discuss what the martian needing the suit can produce on mars in that year to trade for that suit and come to terms. That colonist doesn't have to personally produce these items since they can trade for some or all of those things with other martians. Meanwhile what suit does the colonist use? There will be spares that he can borrow or rent during that time. But being like most martians he may not even need a suit for that year because martians usually live in a comfortable shirt sleeve environment throughout the year. They also have the option of moving between such environments in sealed vehicles.
Where does wealth come from? Understand that export is not required.
Anyone thinking this isn't workable doesn't seem to realize this is already how it works on earth. If you can't afford the cost, you do without.