This won't be popular right now but stockholders are just business owners in very small fractions.
The value of a business is determined (for the most part) by its ability to produce future
profits (revenues generated less operating expenses, fixed costs, depreciation, and taxes).
This assessment not only involves the general health (past performance) of the company, but the future outlook of the company, the industry (market trends), and perceived economic operating environment.
Capital ($$), like water, will always flow to the area of least resistance. (This is why low tax, low regulated, non-unionized regions tend to experience more growth.)
Entrepeneurial wealth creation is a voluntary act which involves a level of risk that unfortunately, most Americans are averse to. (They would rather ride in the cart and help push than actually design, fund, build, and steer it.)
They enjoy being employees, provided their every increasing appetites for security (growing wages, benefits) are provided for.
Periodically, the cart faces obstacles (market conditions) which either upset the cart or require a drastic realignment.
We call these layoffs
All wealth (excess productivity) is created, and those who create it understand the risk, cost, and true value of it. They are generally smarter (though not necessarily more educated), work harder, and are more disciplined than the typical wage earner.
Anyone who has ever created or operated a business understands the sacrifices involved, and few see it as charitable when a larger entity threatens to help themselves to that wealth in order to subsidize the bad decisionmaking of others.
When future profits
(economic activity) are threatened by higher operating costs
(wages, benefits, taxes, regulation), why should it surprise anyone that business capital ($$) heads for a safe harbor until conditions improve?
When economic activity cannot produce returns to justify the risks involved, entrepeneurs will engage in less of it.
We call this a recession (slow or negative economic growth).
This results in fewer jobs for the risk-averse wage earner.
This isn't really a difficult concept if you think about it.
While you can confiscate a person's wealth, you can't force him/her to put it at risk in the market place.
I'd love to argue against the unfairness of gravity but it wouldn't really change anything!
(But at least we'll finally have assistance in paying for our gas and mortgages now!)