[T]here just aren’t enough “good” nannies, always on call, to go around. Especially since a wealthy family’s demands can be pretty specific. According to Pavillion’s vice president, Seth Norman Greenberg, a nanny increases her market value if she speaks fluent French (or, increasingly, Mandarin); can cook a four-course meal (and, occasionally, macrobiotic dishes); and ride, wash and groom a horse. Greenberg has also known families to prize nannies who can steer a 32-foot boat, help manage an art collection or, in one case, drive a Zamboni to clean a private ice rink.Well, what if you — you, being a wealthy person — needed all sorts of services and you found one person who was great at all of them? Why would you even call that person a "nanny"?
And then there’s social climbing. “A lot of families, especially new money, are really concerned about their children getting close to other very affluent children,” Greenhouse says. “How do they do that? They find a superstar nanny who already has lots of contacts, lots of other nanny friends who work with other high profile families.” There are the intangibles too. “I’m working with a phenomenal Caribbean nanny right now,” Greenhouse says. “She is drop-dead beautiful. Her presentation is such that you’re proud to have her by your children’s side at the most high-profile events.”This person is much more than a nanny. The real question is what would you pay for an individual utterly devoted to your family with an array of skills? And the answer is another question: How rich are you? You'd pay anything!
Of course, it's even better to be in a family where people are doing these things for each other, motivated by mutual self-interest and good old-fashioned love. And when you have these things, do you ever stop and think about the economic value, or do you just take them for granted and only notice the economic value of a family member who's bringing in income? If the latter, you are a fool!