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Analysis/Comment Last Updated: May 25, 2011 - 6:44 AM

Obama's message for Ireland and entrepreneurs of gloom: Is féidir linn
By Michael Hennigan, Founder and Editor of Finfacts
May 24, 2011 - 6:18 AM

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Thousands of people gather at College Green in Dublin, Ireland, to welcome President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, May 23, 2011.

In these grim times, President Barack Obama had an optimistic message for Ireland on Monday in Dublin's College Green, saying 'Is féidir linn,' - - the Gaelic for his 2008 campaign slogan, 'Yes, we can.' The message in particular was directed at the entrepreneurs of gloom.

America is generally a country of optimism and the seven days from Queen Elizabeth's arrival in Ireland on Tuesday, May 17 to President Obama's speech to thousands on College Green, carried live across the world by CNN and BBC World, presented an optimistic image of Ireland.

During this week of optimism, there was also time to reflect on the achievements of Garret FitzGerald, who had the vision in difficult times when extremists were able to sabotage any moves towards peace in Northern Ireland, to challenge his fellow citizens to unfreeze old mindsets and show Unionists that the two parts of Ireland did not have to be in a permanent state of suspicion and distrust.

President Obama said on Monday: "This little country, that inspires the biggest things -- your best days are still ahead.  (Applause.)  Our greatest triumphs -- in America and Ireland alike -- are still to come.  And, Ireland, if anyone ever says otherwise, if anybody ever tells you that your problems are too big, or your challenges are too great, that we can’t do something, that we shouldn’t even try -- think about all that we’ve done together.  Remember that whatever hardships the winter may bring, springtime is always just around the corner.  And if they keep on arguing with you, just respond with a simple creed:  Is féidir linn. Yes, we can. Yes, we can.  Is féidir linn.  (Applause.)" 

Life often is a feast and famine as the sudden change in Irish economic fortunes testify to. Over optimism has given way to extreme pessimism and the entrepreneurs of gloom have a ready market.

These entrepreneurs of gloom would never survive in the world of the real entrepreneur where hope and confidence are essential and challenges are many.

Gideon Rachman writes in today's Financial Times: "The other day, I bumped into a friend from my days at The Economist. Why are your columns so depressing, he asked me? I began to deny the charge until it was pointed out that I had recently published a book with the doom-laden title Zero-Sum Future."

He tells the story of Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder, who was praising the advances for mankind that had been made over the course of the 20th century. “But what about the second world war?” somebody objected. Gates, it is said, barely paused. “Sure there were some blips,” he responded.

Gideon Rachman says he is also an optimist but it all depends on what timeframe you are looking at.

We at Finfacts don't like spin and spoof; a reality check is always important but if the direct wealth creators were to take to heart the common calamity howling from the well-off who have a grip of the public megaphone, then we would be on the way to hell in a handcart.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in Moneygall, Co Offaly, May 23, 2011. Falmouth Kearney, the president's great-great-great grandfather on his mother's side, who was born about 1830, left Moneygall in 1850 and took a ship to America.

In the dark days of early March 1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in his inaugural address: "This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

Three decades later, President Kennedy said in his undelivered speech in Dallas Texas: "There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. Those voices are inevitable...We cannot expect that everyone, to use the phrase of a decade ago, will 'talk sense to the American people.' But we can hope that fewer people will listen to nonsense. And the notion that this Nation is headed for defeat through deficit, or that strength is but a matter of slogans, is nothing but just plain nonsense."

MSNBC's videos of Obama's Irish visit

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