It would seem that in today's world, cynics that we are, there would be little room for fairy tales. To me though, I think that the opposite is true.
The fairy tales that have been passed down through the centuries still serve their purpose as cautionary tales, even when dosed with modern ideals or political correctness.
If fairy tales were not still relevant- or able to be applied to modern life- they would have long since been cast aside and replaced with tales that fit the palate of people living and interacting in the 21st century. That these tales can be adapted and still retain their basic story is in itself a testimony to the underlying fact that no matter how much we learn or invent, there are still some aspects of life that are just human nature and that the best way to "explain" them is through the use of fairy tales.
This is possibly one reason that many cultures share common themes in their fairy- or folk- tales. The Anasi stories of Africa have been retold repeatedly throughout the ages, as have the various Cinderella stories. Each updated to be recognizable- and pertinent- for their modern audiences, but still holding true to their integral storyline.
Fairy tales help us learn to dream and hope- as well as teach us lessons that are sometimes hard to comprehend in the abstract without the use of fairy tales.
Modern society is lucky to have fairy tales, because not only do they enable us to understand life's many lessons, they also entertain us and provide a continuity between the eras of history.