Entertainment

Ashton Kutcher Defends Uber

'Shortsighted politics are destroying innovation'

The only statements Ashton Kutcher used to make involved trucker hats and an appreciation for older women.

These days, the “Two and a Half Men” alum is not afraid to speak his mind about capitalism, the value of hard work and the company that transformed the way Americans get from points A to B.

“I was always just lucky to have a job.”

Kutcher made the social media rounds two years ago with his impassioned speech at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards. He shared the kind of life lessons parents wished more celebrities publicly embraced.

“When I was 13, I had my first job with Dad carrying shingles to the roof, and then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant, and then I got a job in a grocery-store deli, and then I got a job in a factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground,” he recalled.

“And I never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job,” preached Kutcher. “And every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job, and I never quit my job until I had my next job. So opportunities look a lot like work.”

At the time, the actor was prepping to play Steve Jobs in a biopic. Clearly, the Apple innovator’s story impressed him. More recently, Kutcher took to social media to defend a company targeted by a pair of high-profile politicians.

Kutcher used his Facebook page to defend Uber, the taxi-like service that has revolutionized travel while providing flexible jobs despite challenging economic conditions. The actor singled out New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for attacking the company’s growth, but he also could have been addressing another high-profile liberal critic. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently targeted Uber and the “shared economy” it represents in a stump speech.

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Here’s what Kutcher, who supports President Obama, said about the disagreement on his Facebook page (all misspellings his):

“I am beside my self with the regulation that Mayor DeBlasio is trying to force upon Uber and the citizens of NYC. He clearly has his pockets lined by the cab co’s. He talks about discrimination in NYDailyNews OP ed but has no idea how hard it is for ethnic people to get a cab. He talks about protecting drivers but has no idea about the people who drive for Uber to subsidize their income. He talks about congestion but doesn’t even recognize that Uber is a fraction of a fraction of the traffic in the city. He talks about data but fails to recognize that he has none. He’s trying to regulate a problem with out providing a single solution other than putting a target on a companies back so he can keep getting political funding from another. This is the kind of corrupt shortsighted politics that is destroying innovation.”

What’s next for Kutcher? He’ll be one of three “Guest Sharks” to appear on the pro-entrepreneur reality show “Shark Tank’s” new season starting Sept. 15. The series lets contestants share their business proposals with a team of successful entrepreneurs who offer guidance and possible financial support if they find the pitches too good to resist. The show, now in its seventh season, has shocked the television industry with its stellar ratings.

It’s a good match for Kutcher, too. The actor has backed a number of successful companies including Spotify, SoundCloud and Flipboard.

Update: DeBlasio blinked. The New York City mayor, under high-profile pressure from Kutcher as well as fellow celebrities Neil Patrick Harris, Jared Leto and Kate Upton, just announced he won’t be putting a cap on Uber’s expansion in the Big Apple.

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