Government’s Role in the New Economy

America’s workforce is being radically altered by the pandemic and changes in technology and energy. What is the government’s role in this new economy? Explore how leaders and citizens with different political views can find a common path forward, starting with a thought-provoking conversation between former Republican and Democratic presidential candidates John Kasich and Julián Castro.

More progress and less division starts with us. Watch conversations between thought leaders with diverging views, learn about areas of common ground on a timely topic, and commit to taking one action that can influence real-life change.


Watch highlights from a conversation with thought leaders on opposite sides of the issue. Or watch the full conversation, and follow along with your discussion guide to capture key points.

John Kasich
Former Governor

Two-term former Ohio Governor John R. Kasich is a politician, a New York Times best-selling author, a former FOX television host and current senior commentator at CNN, and an American citizen who believes that unity is the answer to our most common problems. As Governor, he was a leading voice in promoting bipartisan solutions to health care reform, immigration and international trade. Previously, as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he served as chairman of the House Budget Committee and balanced the Federal Budget four times—a feat not accomplished since. Kasich is a graduate of The Ohio State University, where he was a Presidential Fellow.

Julián Castro
Former HUD Secretary

Julián Castro has distinguished himself as a strong leader and public servant for nearly two decades. As Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama, he earned the Department recognition as one of the most improved federal agencies while spearheading efforts to reduce homelessness and deliver broadband to public housing residents. As mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014, he brought a strong focus to expanding educational achievement and becoming a leader in the 21st century global economy. Castro is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School.

Kelly Evans
News Anchor, CNBC

Kelly Evans is anchor of CNBC’s “The Exchange,” the newsroom-based program for today’s investor, and co-anchor of CNBC’s “Power Lunch.” Evans was most recently co-anchor of CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” and earlier, “Squawk on the Street” and “Worldwide Exchange” based in London. Prior to CNBC, Evans was an economics reporter and “Heard on the Street” columnist for The Wall Street Journal. She also hosted the daily “News Hub” program on Evans joined the Journal in 2007 after graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA.

Discover main areas of common ground and key takeaways.

As prominent political leaders from different parties, John Kasich and Julián Castro were able to find these areas of common ground on government’s role in the new economy:

  • Infrastructure is a critical need and Democrats and Republicans should be able to unite behind the idea of investing in housing, roads and bridges, and technology.
  • The government should take a renewed look at increasing capital investment in lower-income areas, but it should also look at eliminating ineffective corporate loopholes and subsidies.
  • Education institutions need to become more efficient, and public/private programs that provide education and training should be encouraged.
  • Wealth inequality is a serious problem, but any program designed to help people escape from economic hardship must thread the needle to encourage people to work.

In an era of divisive politics, this thoughtful and respectful discussion offered both a model for civil discourse, and inspiration to continue pushing for leaders to seek common ground.


Find out what other Common Grounders think about this conversation, and share your own thoughts.

Speaker Perspective: John Kasich & Julián Castro
Student Perspective: Patrick Aimone
Student Perspective: Lucie Kneip

Our nation longs for a return to normalcy, but that goal is harder to realize when we choose partisanship over progress. Our conversation with Governor Kasich and Secretary Castro demonstrated that real solutions can be attained if we make a commitment to put politics aside. And, from creating jobs and managing student debt to investing in a green economy, the opportunity exists for citizens and leaders of different political views to find common ground.


What’s one action you can take in your own life? 



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Thank you for exploring this conversation on a topic that is shaping the future of every American. Please share with others and keep working towards common ground. Together, we can make a difference.