As the U.S. Senate debates President Donald Trump’s future, CEOs, financiers and politicians from around the world are descending on Davos in the Swiss Alps for their annual self-congratulatory defense of global capitalism.

The events are not unrelated. Trump is charged with abusing his power. Capitalism’s global elite is under assault for abusing its power as well: fueling inequality, fostering corruption and fighting efforts to reduce climate change.

CEOs of the largest global corporations are now raking in more money and at a larger multiple of their workers’ pay than at any other time in history. The world’s leading financiers are pocketing even more. The 26 richest people on Earth now own as much as the 3.8 billion who form the poorer half of the planet’s population.

Concentrated wealth on this scale invites corruption. Across the world, big money is buying off politicians to procure favors that further enlarge the wealth of those at the top while siphoning off resources from everyone else.

Corruption makes it impossible to fight stagnant wages, climate change or any other problem facing the vast majority of the world’s population that would require some sacrifice by the rich.

Popular anger is boiling over against elites seen as irredeemably greedy, corrupt and indifferent to the plight of most people struggling to get by. The anger has fueled uprisings in Chile, Spain, Ecuador, Lebanon, Egypt and Bolivia; environmental protests in the U.K., Germany, Austria, France and New Zealand; and xenophobic politics in the U.S., the U.K., Brazil and Hungary.

Trump’s support comes largely from America’s working class, whose wages haven’t risen in decades, whose jobs are less secure than ever and whose political voice has been drowned out by big money.

Although Trump has given corporations and Wall Street everything they’ve wanted and nothing has trickled down to his base, he has convinced his supporters he’s on their side by channeling their rage onto foreigners, immigrants, minorities and deep state bureaucrats.

Appropriately, the theme of this year’s Davos conclave is “stakeholder capitalism” — the idea that corporations have a responsibility to their workers, communities and the environment as well as to their shareholders.

Expect endless speeches touting the long-term benefits of stakeholder capitalism to corporate bottom lines: Happy workers are more productive. A growing middle class can buy more goods and services. Climate change is beginning to cost a bundle in terms of environmental calamities and insurance, so it must be stopped.

All true, but the assembled CEOs know they’ll get richer far quicker if they boost equity values in the short term by buying back their shares of stock, suppressing wages, fighting unions, resisting environmental regulations and buying off politicians for tax cuts and subsidies.

This has been their strategy for three decades, and it’s about to get worse. Three researchers — Daniel Greenwald at MIT’s Sloan School, Martin Lettau at the University of California, Berkeley, and Sydney Ludvigson at New York University — found that between 1952 and 1988, economic growth accounted for 92% of the rise in equity values. But since 1989, most of the increase has come from “reallocated rents to shareholders and away from labor compensation.” In other words, from workers.

What this means is that in order for the stock market to do as well in coming years, either economic growth has to accelerate markedly (highly unlikely), or CEOs will have to siphon off even more of the gains from growth from workers and other stakeholders to their shareholders.

This will require even more downward pressure on wages, more payoffs to politicians for tax cuts and subsidies and further rollbacks of environmental regulations. All of which will worsen the prevailing discontent.

There will be no mention at Davos of any of this, nor of the increasing political and economic power of these elites and the diminishing power of average workers and citizens around the world.

Nothing will be achieved in the Swiss Alps, because the growing global discontent has yet to affect the bottom lines of the corporations and financial institutions whose leaders are assembling to congratulate themselves on their wealth, influence and benevolence.

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich is a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley and the author of “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future.”

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