Well. while there are likely many much more apt parables, or more clever satirical prose, the concept is one that frustrates many of us. I could post many TRUE tales of woe very similar to the "satire" posted at the outset.
When we live in a confiscatory state such that the tax rate drives businesses out of the state (high tech businesses can be very mobile - especially if they are simply web based firms ... quite a few have changed addresses to Nevada in the last few years), and makes it more profitable for high wage earners to retire and close businesses (my uncle closed his law firm years ago when he realized he would take home more in retirement), something is wrong. In CA there are said to be fewer and fewer wage earners to provide for a growing population of aid recipients. And most of these recipients that *I* see are more than capable of work. And when my neighbor gets new appliances every few years, subsidized rent, food assistance, and a smattering of other goodies to go with his big screen home theater system while I have to struggle to afford a pair of 30" TVs, and keep my appliances running on a wing and a prayer (we can't afford to replace them every couple of years) it can be kind of annoying.
The first two sentences of the following quote is oft-repeated ... I rather like the prescient warning associated with the latter sentences. While there is some dispute as to whether the quote was ever made anywhere by Tytler, and there was no book by Tytler regarding the fall of the Athenian Republic, the quote is still meaningful:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage.
(regarding the fall of the Athenian Republic)