My khakis have contributed to many different people's income.

Consumer Culture Scenario

2,000 poor Chinese workers work in a factory making khakis for just barely enough to live by while the consumer purchases the khakis instead of cheaper-and-easier-to-make some-other-kind-of-pants. The factory workers get the money that was paid by the consumer. They can live, just barely.

Non-Consumer Culture Scenario

The consumer buys cheaper-and-easier-to-make pants. The poor factory workers spend their time making cheaper and faster-to-make pants but get paid more. They're producing more good and getting more money. The consumers get pants just as good, but less fancy and easier to make. Less poor factory workers can produce as many pants as before. Now there are enough pants for everyone, not just the rich consumers. The factory workers are happy. They no longer have to choose between going to work naked and eating.

Even Worse Consumer Culture Scenario

They're not making pants because they're making stupid toys to put in boxes of cereal. If they made easy-to-make pants they would produce something useful and get paid, rather than just getting paid for making stuff nobody wants.


Full production will always result in full employment but full employment will not usually result in full production.

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt is a good book.