Affiliates are the reason many companies are able to stay in business. Most internet companies don't have a clue how to market their own business and drive traffic to their sites.
They are by no means parasites. They are basically commissioned marketers.
To have that commission stripped away by Google says a lot about one of the companies many goals in my mind.
[edited by: Philosopher at 2:52 pm (utc) on Dec. 6, 2006]