The Midas Plague by Frederik Pohl

It illustrates that when production is abundant, the scarcity is consumption and economics dictates that you have to incent, pay, for the scarce resource. You Buy Intake, UBI, paying people to consume, not to produce.

Ten to Infinity

It’s said that when beginning a book a reader will allow one major contrivance that will get the story in motion. Well, today’s story by Frederik Pohl (who sadly died last week) has a big contrivance in its setting, from which all of the worldbuilding and plot flows. While I feel this contrivance is a bit difficult to swallow, the world it results in is riddled with absurd perversity.

It starts off with a classic fictional wedding, that of one between two socioeconomic classes. But Morey and Cherry love each other and their parents have assented, so they move into Morey’s many-roomed mansion and spend their copious free time shopping for jewellery and devouring enormous steak meals. But after a while Cherry grows visibly unhappy, and when she backs out of attending the opera for the second week in a row Morey snaps.

“Dammit,” he flared, “this is your home…

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