Perhaps the creepiest tool of repression is China's social credit system. The system would essentially establish a “credit” rating for individuals and firms. Be a good citizen and you get financial discounts, better loan terms, and exemption from deposit requirements. Fail to meet the state’s criteria and your child can forget getting into a good university. If the government judges you to be socially bankrupt, you can’t buy a train ticket, rent a hotel room, or even use a credit card. Companies could be treated similarly, with disparate treatment in terms of taxation, credit, and more. A decade ago, Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez sent officials to China to learn about its national ID program. In succeeding years, nothing much happened. However, three years ago, the 1984 nightmare reemerged. With food scarce, medicine nonexistent, and inflation beyond measure, the Nicolás Maduro regime is spending $70 million to create a national database and mobile payment system.