The analogy of a sheet of rubber graph paper tends to work quite well also.
Under the standard models of Inflation, the fabric of space-time is stretching in every direction, carrying everything in the universe along with it, rather than objects rushing apart from one another in a largely static void.
As the sheet of graph paper keeps growing in size, the individual squares get larger with it; everything marked on the paper (planets, stars, galaxies, etc.) gets further apart. There is no unique position in the universe; an observer will see everything else rushing away from him no matter where in the universe he is.
If you can follow the balloon and graph paper abstractions this far, realize that we can't even be sure the entire universe is expanding at a uniform rate.
One of the crucial tests that cosmologists are aiming for by studying the makeup of the universe is defining its overall state. One of the big topics of debate now is that the universe is either homogenous or inhomogeneous; that is, it is either mostly the same all over, or slightly to radically different in consistency in different regions.
At present, the model of a homogenous and constantly expanding universe is the popular view; inhomogeneous cosmic makeup is still regarded as something of an unpopular view, but it has strong supporters.
What it all stems down to is dark energy. A good 60% percent of the universe or more is ‘dark energy’. It is the theoretical force that’s maintaining the observed and increasing acceleration of the universe. But ask any physicist or astronomer what dark energy is and they can’t tell you, because they don’t know what it is.
The truth is that dark energy might not even be energy in the scientific definition at all; it’s more of a metaphor. It’s something we applied an abstract term to so we can try and explain the behavior of the cosmos we’re observing.
In an inhomogeneous model, there may be distant regions of the universe that are much denser or much less dense than our own. The going theory of the inhomogeneous universe is that we’re in a low-density part of the universe. Less density means less matter in our region and less gravity to slow down expansion, relative to denser regions.
Going back to the graph paper concept; we’re in a part of the sheet where the squares are expanding faster than other parts. We are only observing our part, we can only measure its rate of expansion so we might assume everything else is expanding as quickly.
Inhomogeneous Inflation effectively does away with dark energy, because you don’t have to put anything into the equation that has the tremendous power of making the entire universe expand unchecked, as opposed to the lesser energy that would be needed to make just portions of it expand.
So mink, I realize that is a very verbose and roundabout answer to your original question, and it also goes well beyond the purpose of the question, but understanding the whole nature of the expansion and just how universal it might or might not be makes a big difference on the answer.