The idea present in Ragged Dick, is the notion that education is the way forward. However, a modern social issue that challenges this idea, is that after leaving education it is harder for one to gain a job. A film that challenges Ragged Dick, especially in today's society, is 'The Internship' (2013).
There is a scene within 'The Internship' in which the characters talk about the 'fantasy' that is the American Dream. Young, tech-savvy geniuses are fighting for the same job, because they feel as though, it is hard to get a job, even after being educated. There is also the idea that people who aren't educated, can try and work there way up, although being extremely difficult in todays world.
Realistically, the idea that in order for someone to succeed they have to be educated, yes is still present, for those who are not may have difficulty, but on the other hand, even if you are educated, the American Dream, isn't so readily available.