Mark Steyn explains what the world expects of us:

And how does the rest of the world, of whose tender sensibilities then-Sen. Obama was so mindful, feel about the collapse of American consumer excess? They’re aghast, they’re terrified, they’re on a one-way express elevator down the abyss with no hope of putting on the brakes unless the global economy can restore aggregate demand.

What does all that mumbo-jumbo about “aggregate demand” mean? Well, that’s a fancy term for you – yes, you, Joe Lardbutt, the bloated, disgusting embodiment of American excess, driving around in your Chevy Behemoth, getting two blocks to the gallon as you shear the roof off the drive-thru lane to pick up your $7.93 decaf gingersnap-mocha-pepperoni-zebra mussel frappuccino, which makes for a wonderful thirst-quencher after you’ve been working up a sweat watching the plasma TV in your rec room with the thermostat set to 87. The message from the European political class couldn’t be more straightforward: If you crass, vulgar Americans don’t ramp up the demand, we’re kaput. Unless you get back to previous levels of planet-devastating consumption, the planet is screwed.

“Much of the load will fall on the U.S.,” wrote Martin Wolf in The Financial Times, “largely because the Europeans, Japanese and even the Chinese are too inert, too complacent, or too weak.” The European Union has 500 million people, compared with America’s 300 million. Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are advanced economies whose combined population adds up to that of the United States. Many EU members have enjoyed for decades the enlightened progressive policies that Americans won’t be getting until Jan. 20. Why then are they so “inert” that their economic fortunes depend on the despised, moronic Yanks?…

To Martin Wolf’s list of a Europe “too inert, too complacent, too weak,” we might add “too old”: Healthy societies recharge their batteries by the aged and wealthy lending their savings to the young and eager. But Germany is a population of prosperous seniors with no grandchildren to lend to. Japan is a society of great invention with insufficient youth to provide a domestic market. That’s why if you’re Sony or IKEA or any other great global brand, you want access to America for your product. That’s why economic recovery will be driven by the U.S., and not by euro-Japanese entities long marinated in Obamanomics.

And here, we’re even saving the emissions from all that import/export movement by sending American Paris Hilton (# Hilton siblings: 4) abroad:

Open Family social worker Les Twentyman said Hilton’s spree was disgraceful.

“It is quite obscene spending money like that. Some people are homeless and thousands of people a week are losing their jobs and it is quite obscene in some ways,” Mr Twentyman said.

Thousands of people are losing their jobs and he’s upset about people spending money in his town?