What is the story in which the male protagonist has to keep consuming, using things up, while his higher status father-in-law is able to simply work in his garden?

  • 3
    What in particular about this story makes it sci-fi / fantasy? More details would be helpful, as well as ensuring that it is not off-topic for this SE site
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 22:41
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Story about a future of over-production
    – Kyle Jones
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 23:07

1 Answer 1


The Midas Plague by Frederik Pohl, published in Midas World, according to wikipedia:

"The Midas Plague" (originally published in Galaxy in 1954). In a world of cheap energy, robots are overproducing the commodities enjoyed by mankind. The lower-class "poor" must spend their lives in frantic consumption, trying to keep up with the robots' extravagant production, while the upper-class "rich" can live lives of simplicity. Property crime is nonexistent, and the government Ration Board enforces the use of ration stamps to ensure that everyone consumes their quotas. The story deals with Morey Fry, who marries a woman from a higher-class family. Raised in a home with only five rooms she is unused to a life of forced consumption in their mansion of 26 rooms, nine automobiles, and five robots, causing arguments. Trained as an engineer, Morey modifies his robots to enjoy helping to consume his family's quota. He fears punishment when his idea is discovered, but the Ration Board—which has been looking for a way to abolish itself—quickly implements Morey's idea across the world.

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