A lot of space projects don’t make economic sense, not even in the longer term. Worse yet, some of them are not even possible to implement. The space elevator is a prime example of these. First of all, it depends on where you are going. If you are going to the International Space Center, chances are you don’t know the difference between a geosynchronous orbit and a low Earth orbit. The rope to the station will simply sweep through the surface of the Earth that catching it will be next to impossible. Payload is another problem. If the cargo exceeds 100 tons, it will pull down the space station that you will need to adjust its orbit from time to time. Well, you need to adjust its orbit anyway, as there is no free lunch. However, a heavy cargo will force you to adjust it immediately. But, it’s so cheap to adjust its orbit that the cargo can carry the fuel as a bonus, as you may argue. Well, getting a supersonic jet to be in sync with a space elevator isn’t exactly cheap. Air resistance experienced by the rope to the station is not exactly negligible, either. It’s like a mortgage: monthly payments may feel easier to pay, but are not necessarily cheaper. It’s like a monthly pass: you have to go up more often to justify the investment.
If you are planning to go up to the geosynchronous orbit, then make sure you can afford a space station up there first. It’s so much more expensive for nothing. I am saying this just so that other nations won’t follow NASA mindlessly and brainlessly.
Economy is all about generating sales. What are you selling with space other than hope? Tourism is great, but it’s really meant for the Third World countries. At the beginning when the excitement is there, it’s good. After a while, it becomes a business with a sour profit margin.
Why do you want to immigrate to space, whether to be in a space-marine, a stationary base or a permanent society? Well, the pay will be higher, plus the job security. Your children will grow up in a society of high intellect, where the average IQ is about 137. They will be the leaders of tomorrow, whether they want to stay in space or return to the Earth. You get to live with the best of the best, constantly working on groundbreaking projects that will change the future of humanity. It is a society where no one has time for petty crimes and the meaning of life is clear.
It’s probably worth it, especially if you want to steal talents from all over the world into your country, where you have the best space program and school in the Solar System. It will make a lot of money for sure.