Seems that Escalations are meant to be things you don't want a round.
Thus they are pits for resources to be squandered away in lest they make things worse.
A good escalation should therefore do the same sort of thing.

Yea! The Circus is in town. Items created get +1 to the final product <Woot!>
It takes twice as many resources to create the item. <Phooey!>
Circus goes away when it stops making money 5G the first day 25G the second, 125G the third . . . (even the richest settlement may not be able to keep it more than week or so)