Browsing around Hyper-Physics:
"What happens to electric charge in household circuits"
"In the process, as the charge progresses through the appliance, its voltage drops from 120 volts to essentially zero volts with respect to the earth. This spent charge is then dumped to the earth through the ground wire. In the standard US receptacle, the charge at about zero volts is carried back to the electrical panel through the neutral wire and then transported to the earth by the ground wire attached to the electrical panel."
This should be corrected to indicate return to source.
[This message has been edited by Thom (edited 10-07-2002).]