"1. An organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known s the host from the body of which it obtains nutrients"Think tapeworms and the like.
"2. A person who receives support, advantage, or the like, from another or others with out giving any useful or proper return, as one who lives on the hospitality of others"Think of that one guy you meet in college that was living on the couch of your dorm room friends yet didn't see the need for businesses to make profit. Alternatively it could be expanded to children who have no intention of ever repaying their obligations to their parents, either financially, or through care during their parents golden years. Lastly, physically capable bums and welfare queens come to mind.
And funnily enough in ancient Greece it meant:
A person who received free meals in return for amusing or impudent conversation, flattering remarks, etc.Think of the legion of toadys and sycophants that follow the rich famous in the private sector or the legion of hangers-ons in the political sphere.
But what I am posting about refers to the first quote. We have a huge parasite problem in America, and throughout the West, today. The trillion dollar deficit alone attests to this, and before the crisis it was a $ 400 billion dollar deficit. Finally, even discounting our deficit we simply need to refer to government spending as a portion of GDP and see how it has continued to creep higher through out America's history.
The ultimate problem we have is that no one wants to admit that they, or their company, or their industry, are engaged in parasitic behavior. Just look at this article on Ars Technica and the weak defense, or rather apologetic argument, put forward towards federal programs funding video games. It is one of the most frustrating things today. Everyone is in favor of a balanced budget and conservative spending habits, but their program is absolutely vital to the nations interest and needs to be funded by the government. Why in the age of near free information and ubiquitous communication do we need to spend $ 445 million on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting? And how can we justify Federal spending on a hobby that generates more revenue than Hollywood!
If you try hard enough, and are willing to suspend reality long enough than we can certainly justify any government spending. The problem America has today is that rather than ask "Is this something we (the government) should spend our money on?" we instead go "Why isn't the government doing something about it?" or "We need government money". And not only have we slowly turned ourselves into little more than clientela in a modern day form of Roman patronage but we actively sneer at those who generate wealth.
Currently 41% of our entire GDP is somehow government spending related, local, state, and federal. That is 6 Trillion dollars, more than the GDP of any other nation on earth save China, and we some how don't spend enough? What you are seeing now, decreasing economic opportunity, is the result of parasitism, patronage, socialism or whatever you want to call it.
But think about it this way, you as a citizen of the United States all ready owe $ 51,000 in Federal debt alone and chances are that is more than you make in a year. But to add further salt to your growing wound that debt isn't shared evenly, no it is not by a long shot. If your working at all, and thusly have your wages garnished by Uncle Sam, then that makes you a tax payer, you have to shoulder the burden of everyone else who cannot pay, which raises your share of the debt to $ 141,000. That is the price you will pay for parasites.