Comparing things consumed on a fairly regular basis in such a way that it will probably change neither items consumption pattern is probably useless. Malt liquor is cheap and does the job and the same goes for 5-pocket corduroys. You’d never spend much on either as neither can be considered an essential.
5-pockets have that pop (in the sense that you can get them in really dumb colors and pretend that you’re a WASPy jackass when you wear them – in reality a WASP would never fuck with $40 pair of pants) to bring some entertainment for the week. Malt liquor is a great mid-week prospect: hopefully no one is around to judge you.
Most 5-pocket cords need a $15 alteration to bring their 17” leg opening down to 15” or 16”. Malt liquor doesn’t need anything.
Neither of these things will last you a long time.
If you’re the type who only believes in the best, cheap 5-pocket cords aren’t for you. For those who just want something to wear other than chinos, jeans, and suit pants (?) [who still wears suits?] on the super cheap, then cheap 5-pocket cords will get you
fucked up what you want.