It is a mere truism to say that production leads directly to the market - that is, that each producer expects not to consume his own products, but to sell them. Aside from those engaged in farming, the typical American workman seldom has occasion to consume the products of his own hands or brain. If he works in a shoe factory his whole attention is absorbed in the detailed operation he is called on to perform. His employer could not possibly pay him in his own products, for he cannot live by shoes alone. Producing for the market thus leads to striking results. It permits the individual to specialize, and to create utilities which he himself has no desire to consume.
So accustomed does each person become to confine his productive activities to his own narrow field that he seldom gives a serious thought to the modifications which his product must often undergo before it is finally ready for consumption. A lumberman in the Far Northwest fells trees and cuts their trunks into convenient lengths for rafting. So far as he is concerned the logs are finished product. He has no interest in the tortuous course through which they must go before they can be consumed. His is the log market, not the market for house lumber, ship timbers, or lead pencils. His whole attitude of mind, however, would be changed if he produced for direct consumption. Then he would see logs, not as logs, but as houses, barns, sheds, and fences; that is, there would be no such thing to him as a log market. Fortunately for the progress of society, the productive processes are usually divorced from consumption in so far as identical goods are concerned.