Help me find a speculative fiction short story for my father?
November 6, 2016 5:53 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find a science fiction short story my father read back in the '60s.

My father has been wondering about this for a year or more, and I'm finding it hard to google. Last time I had this problem, MeFi came through in about 20 minutes with the game that I was looking for (thank you!).

The plot involves a housewife in the future when robots do all the work, producing goods that humans must consume. I've forgotten the details but the wife is from an upper-class family and married a lower-class man. Lower class people must work harder to consume products than higher; as you ascend the social ladder, you are given more free time from the drudgery of consumption.

Does anyone know the specifics of the author, title and source of this story?
posted by peripatetron errant to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Possibly The Space Merchants (1952)?
posted by moonmilk at 6:11 PM on November 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Perhaps The Midas Plague (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."
posted by nightwood at 6:18 PM on November 6, 2016 [6 favorites]

Yeah, almost definitely the Midas Plague.

Both stories were by Fred Pohl, ironically.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:49 PM on November 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

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