I would cast my vote whole-heartedly for basic/advanced research.
For research is indeed a key component in firing the mind and intellect.
But, beyond that we are not ready.
Instead of spending trillions upon billions of dollars, euro, or whatever currency you want to claim to leave the planet we should be taking a good hard look at ourselves, the human race.
Set aside our petty differences.
Direct these funds and all access towards eliminating world hunger, poverty and disease.
Once we have accomplished this, then and only then will we be truly worthy and justified in exploring space and worlds outside our own.
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