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Despite strong job growth so far in 2016 and a rebound from the threat of a major stock market crash back in February, the U.S. economy is tiptoeing toward total collapse. Why? Because the government just banned the importing of hoverboards. We are so, so screwed, you guys.
Hoverboards, the first real innovation in transportation (and crime) since the glorious Segway—which we all agree was a successful product that makes you look cool when you ride it—were going to revitalize our civil society and make people proud of being American. But no.
Take a good look at the future that just slipped through our fingers. This could have been you, America. But you fucked up.
How does this doom our hoverboard utopia? Well, the average American can’t afford an American model. Brands like IOHawk and Hovertrax run between $1,000 and $1,800 apiece. The device of the future, which is so awesome and not a dorky, dangerous flash-in-the-pan, was only ubiquitous because we could import that shit from China for $400. Until last December we could order it on Amazon, for crying out loud.
OK, a hoverboard might catch fire or whatever, but sometimes things have to catch fire in the name of progress. Small price to pay for a board that doesn’t exactly hover but does ensure you try to stay upright. Sort of.
That’s all over now, though. The hoverboard revolution is dead, and now America is doomed to be a second-tier country full of people riding… I don’t know, bicycles? Golf carts? We won’t look rad and muscular, and no one will want to trade with us. The Age of America is over.
And why? Because Segway apparently can’t handle competition from a vehicle without a handle. They’ve got “patents” or whatever on the technology that allows hoverboards to balance.
Look, America is great—well, was great—and it contains multitudes. We have room for a dope-looking gyroscope transport with a handle and one without. Yet the U.S. International Trade Commission disagrees. They don’t want people to have cheap hoverboards, all because of some stupid intellectual property laws.
Is this the America we want, where only the rich can afford to risk their lives on a two-wheeled fad gadget? What’s next, a war on vaping?!
Well, my friends, it’s over. It’s been nice knowing you. R.I.P. the U.S. of A.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.