Interesting article over at HuffPo about where you hit diminishing marginal returns on more income: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/17/map...
I've argued for a long time that one of the more pernicious elements of the American work culture is that we chase salary over emotional wholeness, and this (I think) supports my argument in favor of less money and more emotional returns. Here's a handy map for all 50 states:
Not surprisingly, "middle states" need less money, and the coasts need more. These are averages, of course, and I suspect that the difference between, say, San Francisco and San Diego is large. Of course these are also pretty high incomes in general, and I wish the happiness benchmark were lower (the cost of living is too damn high!) but it also makes me wonder if chasing the job title/pay dragon is really worth the trouble.
Edit: This is actually a great argument in favor of marginal taxation being focused on higher incomes, as the diminishing marginal returns on higher incomes is very high and very fast.