By Fareed Zakaria

We are now nearly a year and a half into the pandemic. Enough time has passed to start looking back and drawing lessons, especially when comparing it with the last great jolt to the international system — the global financial crisis. Did we learn any lessons from 2008?

At first glance, the comparison would seem to favor the present. About 18 months into the 2008 crisis  U.S. unemployment was climbing to its highest numbers in decades, the stock market was struggling back from one of its worst collapses in history, and housing foreclosures were spiraling to their worst levels ever.

By contrast, with half the population vaccinated today, the U.S. economy is roaring. Growth rates rival the Reagan boom. The stock market is at new highs. Even wages show signs of rising. While the United States is doing better than most, the other major industrial countries are also on the road to recovery. The chief reason is…

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