A derogatory analogy between slavery and wage labor, which is used to highlight similarities between owning and renting a person. Typically refers to a situation where a person’s livelihood depends on wages or a salary and when they are totally dependent on that income for survival, basic necessities, and live paycheck to paycheck. The term wage slavery has been used to criticize the exploitation of labor and social stratification with workers paid comparatively low wages for soulless, heartless work, unequal bargaining, lack of self-management, fulfilling job choices, and leisure time.