I am looking for the author and title for a Science Fiction novel depicting a society where people are paid to obtain necessities and pay to work. It may be a Heinlein, Asimov, or Clark title. Does anyone remember that subplot?
Not an exact match, but the topsy-turvy nature is reminiscent of Frederik Pohl's The Midas Plague which is set in a society in which robotic production has created such an avalanche of consumer goods that the 'poor' are forced to work many hours a day to use up their ration of luxuries. The 'rich' live relatively austere lives.
It was later expanded into a novel called Midas World
The part where people are paid for buying but pay to work sounds like Lloyd Biggle's Round Trip To Esidarap, where a couple from our world take a trip to 'Kroywen' offered by a competing travel agency in their town. When they buy items they are paid in 'Rallods'.
The isfdb entry is here http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?72632
It is available to read on Google books