- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Actor and entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher used his giant social media presence to blast New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as an enemy of innovation.

Mr. de Blasio’s recent op-ed on the popular raid-hailing service Uber and his plan to limit the company’s growth prompted a scathing response from the Hollywood actor.

“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,” Mr. Kutcher wrote on Monday, The Blaze reported.

“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.”

Mr. Kutcher went on to say that the New York City mayor’s campaign against Uber is “the kind of corrupt shortsighted politics that is destroying innovation.”

New York City’s officials plan on putting restrictions on Uber’s activity inside the city on Thursday.

Mr. de Blasio used a July 18 op-ed for The New York Daily News to say his opposition to Uber was rooted in a desire to “protect workers.”

“There’s a point at which more and more drivers will find themselves fighting over the same group of riders — something we see already with 72 percent of pick-ups made by high-growth companies like Uber taking place in the heavily congested Manhattan core,” the mayor said in his Daily News piece.

The mayor added that “for-hire vehicles have been regulated lightly compared to other sectors for decades because they were a relatively small part of our transportation system.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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