Over 90% of the assets owned by millionaires are held in a combination of low-risk investments (bonds and cash), the stock market, and real estate. Business startup costs made up less than 1% of the investments of high net worth individuals in North America in 2011.
Perhaps, instead, they're building businesses on their own? No. Only 3 percent of the CEOs, upper management, and financial professionals were entrepreneurs in 2005, even though they made up about 60 percent of the richest .1% of Americans. A recent study found that less than 1 percent of all entrepreneurs came from very rich or very poor backgrounds. They come from the middle class.
That deserves repeating. Entrepreneurs come from the middle class.
Not surprisingly, then, since the middle class has been depleted by the steady accumulation of wealth at the top, the number of entrepreneurs per capita has decreased 53% since 1977, and the number of self-employed Americans has decreased 20% since 1991.
5. Big business is even worse at job creation
First of all, the cash holdings for non-financial U.S. firms increased to $1.24 trillion in 2011, with about 57 percent of it stashed overseas. Commerce Department figures show that U.S. companies cut their work forces by 2.9 million from 2000 to 2009 while increasing overseas employment by 2.4 million.
The top holders of cash, including Apple and Google and Intel and Coca Cola and Chevron, are also spending their money on stock buybacks (which increase stock option prices), dividends to investors, and subsidiary acquisitions. According to Bloomberg, share repurchasing is at one of its highest levels in 25 years.
6. The Big Fraud: Tax us less, and the jobs will come
Despite their unwillingness to invest in jobs, and even in the face of damning evidence against their tax myths, the super-rich fight like wildcats at any suggestion that they support the country that provided their wealth. Way back in 1984, right after the Reagan tax cuts, the U.S. Treasury Department came to the obvious but belated conclusion that tax cuts cause a loss of revenue. A 2006 Treasury Department study found that extending the Bush tax cuts would have no beneficial effect on the U.S. economy. Other sources have confirmed that economic growth was fastest in years with relatively high top marginal tax rates.
Ample evidence exists to show that no relationship exists between the capital gains tax rate and investment. As noted in the Washington Post, "The top tax rate on investment income has bounced up and down over the past 80 years - from as high as 39.9 percent in 1977 to just 15 percent today - yet investment just appears to grow with the cycle, seemingly unaffected." In fact, the low rate may even have a negative effect on growth. A Congressional Research Service report states: "Capital gains tax rate increases appear to increase public saving and may have little or no effect on private saving. Consequently, capital gains tax increases likely have a positive overall impact on national saving and investment."
7. So what becomes of the jobs?
Corporations are hoarding over a trillion dollars. The richest 1% take a trillion dollars a year more than productivity-based earnings since 1980. Over eight trillion untaxed dollars is being hidden overseas.
That's a present value of ten trillion misdirected dollars. Just 1/10 of that would create 25 million jobs, one for every unemployed or underemployed worker in America. Or a $45,000 a year job for every college student in the United States.
But the people who call themselves "job creators" do nothing to make that happen.