Gov. Ron DeSantis is banning something else from China besides TikTok.
On Monday, the Florida Republican announced he would work to prohibit financial firms that operate in the state from using “social credit scores” to evaluate customers.
DeSantis’ office said the ban would be coming in a bill proposed for the upcoming legislative session.
“Today’s announcement builds on my commitment to protect consumers’ investments and their ability to access financial services in the Free State of Florida,” DeSantis said in a statement.
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“By applying arbitrary ESG [environmental, social, and governance] financial metrics that serve no one except the companies that created them, elites are circumventing the ballot box to implement a radical ideological agenda. Through this legislation, we will protect the investments of Floridians and the ability of Floridians to participate in the economy.”
According to an Epoch Times article from last July, China began imposing the social credit system on its population in 2014.
Under its system, China “monitors, rewards, and punishes people according to how closely their behavior conforms to government standards.”
In China, a person’s score can affect their ability to get loans, book airline travel, acquire property, get a job, or other routine events. The Chinese Communist Party, which runs the country, uses a citizen’s score to evaluate “trustworthiness,” as defined by the government.
In the U.S., the concern is not so much that the federal government would implement such a system — so far — but that the private sector would do so to remain in the government’s good graces.
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This was evident last year in Canada when banks shut down accounts belonging to truck drivers who launched a strike against the policies of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
One American example emerged in 2021, according to the Epoch Times, when Chase Bank closed the accounts of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, for “reputational reasons.”
According to Gov. DeSantis’ office, the bill in question would block financial institutions from “discriminating against customers for their religious, political, or social beliefs — like owning a firearm, securing the border, or increasing our energy independence.”
“Practices [like the social credit system] prioritize woke ideals and virtue signaling over commonsense financial practices,” the governor’s office noted.
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Epoch Times reported last year that states such as Arizona, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Kansas, and Louisiana were working on banning a social credit system for their citizens.
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