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Asia's Economic Silver Lining

Japan is in recession. Much of the rest of Asia is in depression. These are facts, facts already influencing America's economy. And bound to influence it more as the months go by.

It is likely you already know this. What you may not know, or have only barely noticed, and not given full weight to is this: Not all of Asia is filled with discouraging economic news.

Taiwan is a bright spot. Hard-working, industrious, well educated and up-to-date in the information age, Taiwan has an economy that is doing pretty well. Certainly not immune to what is happening all around it, but continuing to do pretty well, all things considered.

India, too, is a bright spot. With the world's second largest population, India certainly has its problems. But economically, it is in better shape - much better - than most of its Asian neighbors.

Then there is Thailand. What's now called the Asian contagion started in Thailand roughly two years ago. And Thailand has suffered plenty, still is.

But, the Thais have taken many of the difficult steps to put themselves back on the road to economic recovery - including dealing straightforwardly with the worst of its banks and other businesses that were dragging it down.

The Philippines were never in as bad a shape as Thailand, not anything near it. And while the Filipinos and their economy are deeply affected by the troubles elsewhere in Asia, they are weathering the storm better than most.

It is an oversimplification to think of all of Asia as just one big mess. It is more complicated than that.

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