When I lived in Canada, we had friends who had left communist Hungary to live in the West. They were doing well, but had friends who had voluntarily gone back to Hungary. The idea that there was a chance they could be out of work or struggling scared them so much, they preferred Hungary's much lower living standard in exchange for the security promised by the communist state.
If people raised to think they can't do anything for themselves opt to surrender freedom for a welfare state, should it be a surprise? The self-esteem, no-winners-allowed crap we teach in public schools, affirmative action, and the drumbeat of economic failure we hear from the left has to have an affect. Kids, particularly raised in families of liberals, could easily be terrified at the prospect of competing in a free enterprise environment. So they stay in college as long as they can, soaking up marxism.
Should we be surprised at Obama's success?