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00:03: After decades of steady decline, adolescent mortality rates are now increasing.
00:09: What accounts for the troubling trend?
00:11: I'm Georgia Howe with Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief John Bickley.
00:15: It's June 3rd, and this is a Saturday edition of Morning Wire.
00:23: With the Supreme Court poised to hand down a ruling on affirmative action,
00:27: questions loom about the future of race-based government contracts.
00:31: What is minority contracting?
00:33: And how could a ruling on college admissions affect the U.S. economy down the line?
00:38: And San Francisco's mayor has a new plan to cut homelessness in half, but it won't come cheap.
00:43: What is the new plan and how much will it cost taxpayers?
00:47: Thanks for waking up with Morning Wire. Stay tuned. We have the news you need to know.
00:55: According to a new report after years of decline, the mortality rate among American children
01:00: is now rising at rates not seen in a half century.
01:04: The news comes as depression rates among the general population has also risen to an all-time high.
01:10: Here with more on the concerning trend and what's behind it is daily wire senior editor,
01:14: Cabot Phillips.
01:16: So Cabot, not the kind of story we like to report, what do we know?
01:19: Yeah, it's not good news.
01:21: So for the last 50 years with advancements in medical field and improvements in car safety,
01:25: mortality rates among young Americans plummeted, falling 65% from 1970 to 2018.
01:31: But in recent years, that trend has reversed.
01:34: According to a recent report from the Journal of the American Medical Association, from 2019
01:38: to 2021, the death rate for American children and adolescents climbed to 20% marking the steepest increase on record.
01:45: We're still waiting on the final federal data from 2022, but unfortunately, all indications
01:49: point to another similar increase. So it's not getting any better.
01:53: So the big question, what's behind the spike in deaths?
01:57: Four main causes of death are having an outsized impact on the trend. Drug overdoses, homicides,
02:02: auto accidents, and suicide are all on the rise. When it comes to drugs, fentanyl has
02:07: fueled a major spike nationwide for all ages when it comes to overdoses. Last year, fentanyl
02:11: was the leading cause of death among Americans 18 to 45. And young people are unfortunately
02:17: no exception. From 2010 to 2020, fatal overdoses among American adolescents doubled and then
02:22: rose another 20% in 2021 alone. While rates of drug use among young people actually are not
02:28: on the rise, deadly overdoses are, in large part because of the prevalence of fentanyl.
02:33: Similarly, the homicide rate among adolescents has also spiked, rising 30% from 2019 to 2020,
02:39: and continuing up ever since. And if you look at the numbers, there's a clear demographic breakdown
02:44: between those two types of death. White adolescents accounted for about 60% of drug overdose deaths
02:49: over the last three years, while black adolescents accounted for nearly two-thirds of homicide deaths.
02:55: Now, what about car accidents and suicide? I think that's what most people think of when they
02:58: think about adolescent deaths. Well, auto deaths among adolescents also rose 23% from 2019 to 2021,
03:06: and there are a few theories on the cause there. Distracted driving, especially with cell phones,
03:10: has been on the rise and during COVID, there were also fewer cars on the road leaving many people
03:15: to drive more recklessly. With regard to suicide rates went up 18 percent over that same time frame
03:20: with younger boys seeing the highest spike. Last week we discussed some really disturbing
03:25: data about the effects of social media on kids. What does the data look like right now for depression
03:30: and kids and teens? Yeah, more bad news on that front. According to a new Gallup report, the number
03:34: of Americans who say they've been diagnosed with depression at some point has risen to 29 percent,
03:39: while 17% say they're currently being treated for depression.
03:43: Not only is that the highest mark on record,
03:45: but it's almost 10 points higher than what we saw as recently as 2015.
03:49: The rates are highest among women with 36% saying they've been diagnosed.
03:52: That's almost twice as high as the number we see for men,
03:55: which is around 20% though, that figure has also doubled among men since 2017.
04:00: And looking at the generational data,
04:01: Americans under 29 are most likely to report current depression.
04:05: They're at around 25%.
04:07: So some stunning and concerning figures for sure. So what's behind the rise on that front?
04:12: Well, COVID lockdowns appear to have played a significant role when it comes to mental health.
04:16: There's millions of Americans who are isolated from their communities and loved ones. Depression
04:20: rates had been rising slowly before 2019, but really spiked in 2020 and continued to go up throughout
04:26: the next two years. But what's really concerning is that in 2022, the rates continue to go up even
04:31: as lockdowns came to an end. Implying the effects of that isolation are longer lasting than we'd we'd hope for.
04:37: Like we reported last week, experts say social media is also playing a key role, especially among younger Americans.
04:42: There's overwhelming evidence that shows a direct correlation between screen time, social media use, and depression rates.
04:49: There's also a slew of data showing that depression rates among adolescents in broken homes
04:53: are far higher than their counterparts, which is especially concerning when you consider
04:56: the rapid decrease in two parent homes.
04:59: Now, it is worth noting, there are skeptics who say that overall depression rates are
05:03: potentially exaggerated. In their view, medical professionals diagnose anyone going through
05:07: a rough patch or feeling down as being clinically depressed. And in their view, many people
05:11: might mistakenly think they have a mental illness, which could skew the data. But regardless,
05:16: a concerning trend that only seems to be getting worse.
05:18: Absolutely. Cabot, thanks for reporting. Anytime.
05:27: Any day now, the Supreme Court has expected to hand down a ruling on affirmative action.
05:32: ruling will have far reaching implications for colleges and may pretend broader changes in the workplace in the future.
05:39: Yet, there is another kind of affirmative action that gets less attention, but could be of even greater significance.
05:45: Here to discuss is the Director of Research at the Manhattan Institute, Judge Glock.
05:49: Judge, thanks for coming on.
05:51: Thanks so much for having me back.
05:52: Now, you recently wrote a piece for City Journal called Welcome to the World of Minority Contracting.
05:59: What is minority contracting?
06:00: Basically, it's a government policy and this happens at all levels of government federal,
06:05: state and local to favor minority owned businesses when awarding contracts.
06:10: That means, say, if a city wants to issue a road paving contract, they allow minority
06:15: businesses to charge higher prices, their competitors, and still get the contract.
06:20: Sometimes, governments have certain types of contracts, have to go to minorities and no white owned companies can compete.
06:27: government can just give contracts out without any competition at all as long as that company
06:32: is owned by a minority. Now, how common is this? It's very common at this point. In fact,
06:38: it would be really hard to kind of overstate how big these programs are. It's really
06:43: big part of what government America does today, award contracts, everything from building
06:47: new aircraft carrier to buy a cow-eat software. Many politicians have set really high goals
06:53: for awarding a percentage of these contracts to minorities. So President Biden said he wanted
06:59: 15% of all federal contracts to go to minorities. Uh, state and city of New York said he want 30%
07:04: of all contracts to go to minority owned businesses. So we're talking at least tens of billions of
07:09: dollars a year for these race-based contracts. Well, aside from the ethical questions,
07:14: do these type of quotas have a cost for taxpayers? Yes, there's lots of different ways to measure
07:20: these costs. As I said, sometimes they just allow minority businesses to charge a higher rate than
07:25: their competitors. And you can see that in the cost to taxpayers. But one way to look at this is to
07:30: look at what happened in California when they had a vote in the 1990s that banned racial preferences.
07:36: The focus then, as always, was with colleges and jobs and so forth. But the vote also affected
07:41: these contracting programs. And one economist who studied what happened found that the highways,
07:47: for instance, the fund by the state were much cheaper after these racial preferences were
07:51: ended, about 6% cheaper because they didn't have to meet all these minority contract requirements.
07:56: Now, if you take that kind of percent, which sounds a little small, you take that percent
08:00: of these trillions of dollars in government contracts across ecology, start talking at a really big number.
08:06: You also just have lots of scandals with these contracting programs that can sat trust in government.
08:11: It's really common for white owned businesses to put up front companies owned by minorities
08:15: they just take a cock and then pass the contract on. And this anger is businesses owned by people
08:20: evolved different races because it's really tough to compete when there's such pervasive fraud.
08:23: And that has a cost for taxpayers for the business community and large and for everybody.
08:29: Now obviously there are some landmark cases relating to college admissions.
08:33: Has the Supreme Court ever weighed in specifically on minority contracting?
08:37: Yes, so it's been a while, but there were two big cases in the late 80s and in mid 1990s.
08:43: and Supreme Court tried to at least cabin or limit the programs.
08:47: The court basically said the government could only use minority contract if they're making
08:51: up for explicit discrimination in the past.
08:54: But instead of any of these programs, the case is sput this whole new industry to write
08:58: what are known as disparity studies, which try to show how some government easer was discriminatory
09:04: so they can keep using his race-based contracts.
09:07: By some estimates, just writing these studies would cost governments hundreds of millions of dollars.
09:12: Now, would a Supreme Court ruling that strikes down affirmative action in colleges directly affect these minority contracting programs?
09:20: Not directly, but down the road, it definitely could.
09:24: It could show the court was more interested in taking a further look at racial preferences in general.
09:28: And that means they might take a second look at how all these governments are still using
09:32: these minority contracting programs, despite their earlier attempts to limit.
09:36: And maybe it means over the long runs, Supreme Court could look at it ending them entirely.
09:41: All right, well, Judge, thanks so much for coming on and explaining that to us.
09:46: That was Judge Glock of the Manhattan Institute.
09:52: San Francisco's mayor has an expensive new plan to tackle homelessness, which has become a crisis for the city.
09:59: But the city is facing a budget deficit, and lots of homeless housing currently sits empty.
10:04: Daily wire investigator for Porter, Maray D'Alority is here with the details for us.
10:08: Married. Tell us about San Francisco's homeless displan.
10:11: Hi Georgia. So Mayor London breed once San Francisco to spend another 692.6 million on homelessness
10:18: next year as part of the city's five-year plan to reduce homelessness by half. The plan would
10:24: pay for 600 new shelter beds and 545 new housing units in the next year. The plan will also help
10:31: non-homeless people pay their rent so they don't become homeless. Those are the broad strokes,
10:35: but for the plan to move forward, the mayor and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
10:39: have to agree on the specifics of the plan. Here's the problem though, San Francisco has a two-year
10:44: budget deficit of 744 million, and the mayor has to sign a balanced budget by August 1st.
10:51: This expensive homeless project will cut deep into the budget. This is in addition to a different
10:56: homeless policy breed recently rolled out, which is to have non-police personnel respond to certain
11:01: 911 calls. So does that apply to all 911 calls made in San Francisco or just homeless-related calls?
11:07: It's specifically for certain types of calls. Breeds goal is to pivot away from police as much
11:12: as possible when it comes to homelessness. This new program is called the Homeless
11:16: Engagement Assistant Response Team or Heart. The program will involve people from the homeless
11:22: nonprofit Urban Alchemy and they will respond to non-medical non-emergency 911 calls about homeless
11:28: people. There's also a pragmatic reason for the change. The police department is currently understaffed
11:33: by more than 500 officers. Back in 2020, breed cut $120 million from the San Francisco police
11:40: and sheriff's budgets. But by 2021, breed did a 180 on her decision. She made an emergency request
11:47: to the Board of Supervisors for more police money to crack down on crime, including open-air
11:51: drug dealing, car break-ins, and theft from stores. Lieutenant Tracy McCray of the San Francisco
11:57: police officers' association criticized the mayor for reversing her stance on police
12:01: funding. Here's McCray. Stop hating what you need. Obviously, no one else is going to go
12:07: and deal with this problem, but the police, right? You throw everything on us. So you know what?
12:13: Stop criticizing us. Stop trying to break us down because you know you need us to deal with it.
12:19: In March, Breed also pleaded for federal assistance to handle the crime and homelessness problems.
12:25: Now, I know homelessness spiked during COVID. What's the situation like now in San Francisco?
12:30: Well, it's gotten worse since the pandemic. About 38,000 people are homeless in the Bay Area on a
12:35: given night. That's up 35 percent since 2019. More than 7,000 people are homeless in San Francisco
12:41: itself. Right now, San Francisco has just over 3,000 shelter beds, but only about 2800 people
12:48: sleep in the shelter beds. The city also has more than 12,400 permanent supportive housing units,
12:54: but 825 of those units are sitting empty.
12:58: Circling back to the plan though, you said the mayor wants to create 600 new shelter beds
13:02: and more than 500 new housing units in the next year. If beds and housing are currently
13:08: standing empty, why does the mayor want more of them?
13:11: Well, it's not entirely clear, but some of the empty housing is due to bureaucratic delays.
13:16: Some homeless people who have been approved for housing have remained homeless because the city
13:21: is so slow about placing them in housing units.
13:24: Also, one of the persistent problems is that many homeless individuals
13:27: prefer not to use the services offered.
13:30: Sometimes they don't want a housing unit without a bathroom or an elevator.
13:33: So shelter beds and housing sit empty
13:35: while people choose to stay on the streets.
13:38: As you can imagine, the situation is extremely frustrating to residents.
13:42: Here's one man who spoke to local outlet, K-R-O-N.
13:45: I live in this city, I've born and raised in this city.
13:48: I have never seen anything like this in San Francisco.
13:51: California. May I read and promise you, you promise us, fix this.
13:56: Well, certainly one of the city's most stubborn problems.
13:59: Marade, thanks for reporting. Thanks, Georgia.
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