Martin O'Malley

O'Malley Advocates for Alternative Energy Jobs

“We need to invent an American jobs agenda that is a match for the climate challenge. […] There’s the potential to bring forward that sort of power—clean energy, renewable energy—and I believe that it is rural America and America’s city centers that will lead the way to this cleaner, greener, safer, and yes, more prosperous energy future. […] This isn’t about the end of the world. It’s about imagining a new beginning and realizing that there are jobs to be created."

On Saturday, June 11, 2015 in Iowa City, Iowa
Sources: Martin O'Malley YouTube, Politico (including similar remarks from O'Malley at other times), O'Malley campaign website (including his position on renewable energy)

The Context: During their travels through Iowa, an all-important early primary state, the candidates have approached the topic of energy with care—the one-fifth of Iowans working in agriculture and related industries have a lot at stake when it comes to alternative energy subsidies. Here, O’Malley joins those who support investing in a future of alternative energy, starting with celebrating Iowa as "the leading producer of wind [energy]." He stresses that “we know the science” behind this issue, but that the Left's goals can be misunderstood when speaking about climate change in an apocalyptic manner. O’Malley equates alternative energy investment to job growth, envisioning a “new economy” with opportunities for employment in green design and retrofitting, two examples of subsectors complementing the actual production of clean energy.

The topic of (alternative) energy can be understood through countless metrics. After looking at the state-by-state patterns of overall energy production and consumption, we wondered how the energy sector contributes to employment across the country today. Investment in our energy industries will include creating jobs throughout several occupations, specialties, and subsectors as O'Malley mentioned. Knowing that the early rounds of these jobs will likely build upon the workforce already in place, we asked 

Where are our current energy-related jobs? And how do their earnings compare to others?

Martin O'Malley Is Running for President

"It is the gap between the strong and just country our children need for us to be…and the country we are in danger of becoming. For today in America, 70% of us are earning the same or less than they were 12 years ago. This is the first time that has happened this side of World War II. Today in America, family-owned businesses and farms are struggling to compete with ever larger concentrations of corporate power. Fifty years ago, the nation’s largest employer was GM. An average GM employee could pay for a year’s tuition at a state university with two weeks’ wages."

On Saturday, May 30, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland
Sources: C-SPANO'Malley Campaign Website 

The Context: O'Malley uses his announcement to speak to those Americans who feel their country is in decline, beginning by declaring that the American Dream is in "urgent need of rebuilding." He explains that a "scourge of hopelessness" is developing in areas of poverty, largely stemming from the belief that labor and wages are worth less with each day. To combat these structural flaws, O'Malley proposes raising the minimum wage, guaranteeing overtime pay, and simplifying collective bargaining. He proposes these measures as a means to strengthen the middle class, as dual key to economic growth and equality. 

The middle class is an ambiguous category—defined by the space between wealth and poverty, while describing the standard and cost of living associated with this Dream. If taken by the first definition (the space between the ends of the income scale), there will always be a middle class. If defined by a standard of living, the important questions become whether American households earn enough to accomplish that standard. Thus, we asked

How does median household income—the literal middle income per county—vary across the country? Where do high-income and low-income counties cluster together? Or, rather, where are the spaces between these clustered extremes?

Cross-Reference: Consider comparing these maps to related atlas entries on Poverty, Housing Affordability, and the relationship between Income & Race.