To be fair, most of this argument applies to all oversized SUV's, from Avalanches to Yukons to Expeditions. But for the sake of this list, I really feel like the Escalade has "escaladed" itself above and beyond as the shining shit pile example of American over indulgence and status symbol addiction.
Note: Total disclosure, I have a few friends and acquaintances who own these behemoths and I have been sighted drunkenly falling out of an Escalade or two in my recent past.
#4: Escalades are literally "The Cadillac" of oversized SUVs
Huge, gas guzzling, monster vehicles that are aimed at the wealthy/upper middle class are one thing, but when it has the Cadillac brand, it is now something else. The brand has managed to maintain its image of wealth and success unlike some of its Detroit competition (Lincoln? How many rappers do you see wearing Lincoln hood ornaments for jewelry? Hold off on the rapper thing, getting to that). When you drive a "Caddy" you are assumed to have arrived at some point of success in life, wealth, etc. When you have the largest road hogging Caddy there is, you should be the Big Dick Mayor of Pimptown to justify that special kind of outrageous boastful land yachting.
#3: Escalades as a symbol of American overindulgence
Americans get enough accusations of being big loud and dumb, so let's all pile into our big loud dumbass truck with 15 seats, LCD TVs for the kids, and an air conditioning unit that could refrigerate a warehouse. At least we'll get 8 miles per gallon and kill all the polar bears in the process.
#2: Escalades in "Culture"
Do rappers even still put these in videos? Or is this even a joke to them now? Either way it was a symbol of great wealth and status, bravado over their rivals. These were shown in the same company as Bentley's, which cost significantly more. To most normal people, a $50 grand car may as well be a half million dollar car.
#1: Escalades are the end of the American Dream
Escalades were the chariots that drove us into the "Great Recession". We came in yee-hawing and drove them to the McMansions as the housing bubble burst. Now more children 18-25 are moving back in with their parents (or never leaving) due to weak job prospects and poor paying jobs that can't cover their massive student loan debt. I feel my generation was raised to do better than our parents, are we raising this generation to hope to maybe get to do almost as well as their parents? If excess and luxury are made glamorous and more and more people will never be able to afford them, then are we not creating discontent and frustration? Did I mention I had a "friend" who would offer to drive us places in his Escalade then pick up so many people that I would "volunteer" to sit in the cargo area of that massive gas guzzler (I'm one of the more lean and limber of the males in my group of friends)? This friend also fell for the American Dream scam, had to buy out the lease on his aging Escalade and probably can't sell it for what it is worth... and yeah that sucks riding in the back.