That's an interesting question. If the rich use their assets in productive ways, such that they earn income at a rate similar to other income classes from said assets rather than just stuffing them under a mattress, of *course* they create jobs. But do they?
First, let's look at the distribution of wealth. According to a UCSC study, the top 1% owned 49.7% of all financial assets of America in 2007. So if they are generating actual economic output from those assets commensurate with their value, they should be making 49.7% of net income in America. Yet, they're not -- according to the last IRS numbers I have, they're earning only 21.20% of the income earned in America
SO let's summarize: The rich are LESS THAN HALF AS EFFICIENT AT CREATING JOBS AS EVERYBODY ELSE IN AMERICA! In short, they DESTROY jobs through their inefficiency and sloth, they don't CREATE jobs. If we taxed the rich to the point where they were no longer rich, this implies we'd create TWICE as many jobs as the rich currently create -- i.e., we'd employ every single American currently out of work, plus as many immigrants as we decide to give American citizenship, because the owners of that other 50.3% of America'a assets are generating almost 80% of America's income with only 50.3% of America's assets!
Now, I'm not proposing that we tax the rich for 100% of all income above a certain mark. But what I *AM* saying is that the fat and lazy bastards aren't using their wealth as efficiently to create jobs as the rest of us are, and I have no -- zero -- sympathy for their whining about how horrible it is that they're going to have to pay more taxes if the Bush tax cuts expire yada yada yada and how it's going to cost so many jobs. If the bastards were creating jobs, rather than just stuffing money under (virtual) mattresses, I'd feel more sympathy for them. But the numbers say they aren't -- they've accumulated half the net worth of America, yet earn less than 1/4th the net income of America because they're so inefficient at using that net worth? I call shenanigans on the notion that we'll lose jobs by redistributing some money from the rich to the rest of us, who are twice as efficient at creating jobs as the rich are!
-- Badtux the Numbers Penguin