Let's pretend it all began in 1870.
Some uppity bunch of employees in New England's pioneering factory mill system now want a fairer share of the money rolling in - as does the town and the state legislators.
Farmers downstream from the mill complain that the river water is now making their cows sick and want something done about it.
In a soon-to-be-classic gambit, the mill owners first deny everything - the existence of profits or pollution.
Then they 'light out to the Territories', closing the old mill and opening a new mill "Out West" "On the Frontier" - after getting a tremendous bonus voted to them for doing so by the easily bribed territorial government.
Cue 1905: the Territory is now a State and like New England, its voters too want more revenue and less pollution. The mill owners deny the existence of either, yet again - their lines (lies) well rehearsed.
They regret that the "Closing of the West" will damage the character of the American people - or at the very least, threaten the autonomy of mill owners to cut'n'run / slash and burn.
The federal government, they demand, must subsidize the taking up of overseas colonies, so we can open mills, pollute freely, pay low wages and lower taxes.
The government obliges , moving from subsidizing (with dollars and blood) the Opening of the West, to Opening the Orient.
Cut to 1950: the Americans have sternly told France and England that directly run colonies are so yesterday ( besides the natives in American direct rule colonies are getting restless and demanding they be treated as if they were subjects of the freedom-loving American people).
Which they are - awkward that.
Much better to move to indirect colonies: nominally-free nations run by impoverished dictators eager to sell off their peoples in return for enormous Swiss Bank Accounts.
We can move our mill there - we will get high profits and his American-supplied guns will ensure no one lives long who dares complain about pollution or low wages and terrible working conditions.
So it has gone on through the ages - offshoring mills from Boston to Kansas City to Manilla to Laos to Zambia to ????
Slowly but surely greedy slimy mill owners are running out of countries where people are willing to put up with slave wages in Dickensian hells.
Where to next, for the newest colony and the newest mills?
Mars, that is where.
Only this time the denial and the flee is global, not on a city by city or nation by nation basis.
The denials come first: we are not polluting the atmosphere with global-warming carbon / our CEO salaries are not high.
Meanwhile, secretly, behind the scenes, tax dollars are being handed out to create the newest colonies - this time on Mars.
"Permanent Mars Colonies by 2023".
Maybe we could work it so that robots will ship the raw materials in, work them up and ship them back.
No taxes on Mars - obviously.
And if you do pollute it - well, frankly, that will only improve its looks.
Why bother to stay on Earth and why bother to work to heal it ?
Cutting and running ; denying and then fleeing worked for great-great-granddad and all of his descendants - it should work just as well for me....