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I came across a New York Times article today with the title "No Tuition, but You Pay a Percentage of Your Income (if You Find a Job)".

I have remembered that I read a short science fiction story a while back where the main character was buying something and the salesman convinced him to buy the newer/better model since his children would be paying for it and not him with hours that they would be working to pay it off. After some struggle with the decision, the main character accepted.

marked as duplicate by Null Jan 9 at 14:29

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    This is The Cost of Living by Sheckley, you can find it online on gutenberg.org/files/29458/29458-h/29458-h.htm – LSerni Jan 8 at 22:18
  • Mod note: the user who asked the question voted to close this as a duplicate, signaling acceptance of the given answer. The question was re-opened but I've closed it again since we have confirmation from the asker that it is a duplicate. – Null Jan 9 at 14:32
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This sounds like Robert Sheckley's Cost of Living, published in Galaxy in 1952.

The smile widened as Pathis opened his briefcase. "Now then your account. You owe us two hundred and three thousand dollars and twenty-nine cents. - - Now you know, Mr Carrin, that you won't live long ennough to pay us the full two hundred thousand - - If you will just sign over your son's earnings for the first thirty years of his adult life, we can easily arrange credit for you. "

It is mentioned in passing that one of Pathis' previous customers has committed suicide.

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