Arnold Kling always gives us good brain food on economics;
There are multiple escalators in the economy. At any one point in time, some people are on up escalators, and some people are on down escalators. From 1970 to 2000, I think that cohort data would tell you that many more families rode escalators up than rode them down. From 2000 to today, my guess is that the proportion riding up escalators has not been as high.