The Tales do two things: for one, it placates the dishevelled and destitute. It allows the people on the bottom a ray of light to cling to, such that physically they will do nothing to change their situation. Secondly, the Tales admonish those who do not actualise their prominence: they blame the victim. The unfortunate are so because it is their fault; the beggars and other like them are in the position that they are in solely because they are not working hard. The result is an ideologically oppressed class seduced into working under oppressive conditions because they just might one day ``hit gold.''
It is without surprise that Western society defines these qualities as virtuous; capitalism and the protestant work ethic is very much alive in the west. I dare say that should the western world have a change of ideological dogma these stories would not seem as favourable. However, so long as the ``American Dream'', whatever that is, is still alive, these stories and many like it will continue to be among the favourites of a Capitalist world.