When I saw this tricycle sculpture in a 2013 exhibit at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, my first thought was that it must have been designed by economists.

It is still the best artistic representation I have ever seen of the bizarre field of economics and the models economists spent hundreds of years designing to explain and predict the world.

When I looked at the title, it was even better: The Simultaneous Promise by Abraham Cruzvillegas.

Exactly. Economists kept promising us the models they designed using what they freely admit are unrealistic and knowingly false assumptions can help us understand the world while simultaneously promising us they will throw out all the knowingly false ideas as soon as something better comes along.

Unfortunately, whenever someone comes up with something better, such as using facts to understand the world instead of looking at it through rear view mirrors distorted by the false market idea, economists turn up the music and refuse to listen.

- D.F. Paulaha 

Dennis F. Paulaha received B.S. and M.A. degrees in economics from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Washington. As a college and university professor, he taught macroeconomic and microeconomic theory at the principles, intermediate, advanced, and graduate level, monetary theory and policy, environmental economics, and special issues courses. In the real world, he wrote economic/investment newsletters with as many as 70,000 paid subscribers and was vice president of research for a national brokerage company.