Ashton Kutcher: “The Only Thing That Can Be Below You Is to Not Have a Job”

Ashton Kutcher
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Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher is at it again. The Hollywood golden boy surprised America several months ago when he launched into an inspiring speech on the values of hard work and responsibility at the Teen Choice Awards.

He hasn’t let up on that message — to kids, and anyone else who will listen. Last week on “The Ellen Show,” the actor spoke with Ellen Degeneres about his speech and added to it (video below):


We see this propaganda machine around fame and celebrity and I actually, there are some kids in the world today that think, when I grow up I want to be famous — instead of when I grow up I want to do something, I want to build something, I want to create something. …

I thought it was a valuable moment to kind of let them know that all of that is kind of crap and that working hard and being thoughtful and generous and smart — it’s a path to a better life. Usually when you go to those shows it’s people propagating the fame machine over and over again. …

I hope that if there’s one person that was listening that pursues a different path, I think did what I wanted to. …

There’s an entitlement that’s starting to emerge that I think is unhealthy for people and unhealthy for a country.

I talked to some of my friends and they don’t want to get a job at Starbucks or whatever because it’s below them. Well, I think the only thing that can be below you is to not have a job.

Go work until you can go get the job that you want to have. I’m lucky I get to work with a lot of entrepreneurs that are building some of the coolest new stuff in the world. And they work really hard and put in the hours and they are generous and care about other people and it’s what led to their success.

What Kutcher says makes sense, considering that most Americans believe work is the best way out of poverty, according to recent polling.

Heritage Policy Analyst Rachel Sheffield commented:

Work is key to self-sufficiency. Yet today the vast majority of the government’s 80 means-tested welfare programs fail to encourage work. Most act as a one-way government handout. The welfare system continues to expand while self-sufficiency languishes. It’s time for Washington to catch the vision of work and to reform welfare to promote self-reliance.





  1. It doesn't pay to work for minimum wage. Starbucks pays 7.95/hr. It is sad a company that makes billions can't pay a living wage. If you are a small family with one child, please tell me how you can live off of 7.95/hr working full time. Tat is if companies will let you work full time. Most of these big box stores split your hours so it is impossible to have a 40hr schedule. How can you pay health insurance, student loans, transportation, living (rent and food) on 7.95/hr? Something has to give! The mega companies are the ones entitled. The workers are doing what they have always done, the companies are just greedy. If Costco and Aldi's can pay a living wage, all of the retail establishments could provide this same benefit.

    • Don't support these businesses and encourage people not to support them. But my guess is if you get McDonalds to go to 15-20 an hour, you'd not pay 10 dollars for a cheeseburger and McDonalds, instead of providing jobs who'd work for 7.25 an hour, would provide no work for their business would not be economically feasible.

  2. Not all jobs should pay a "living wage." Should the paperboy be paid enough to raise a small family? Should student on-campus jobs pay full-time rates? Should seasonal positions be forced to pay the equivalent to regular salaries? Some jobs are and should be for those starting out, for supplementing other income, and for seasonal workers. There's a difference between a job and a career.

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