My recent experience with the passport office raises two concerns about our government.
The passport office website informed me that it would take approximately 6 to 8 weeks to renew my passport. The actual work in issuing a new passport is minimal, and probably takes less than an hour. There is no reason why the entire process should ever take more than a couple of days, even at busy times. A typical private company would accomplish a similar administrative task in one day, or else be forced out of business by other companies that did. Denial (or delay) of a passport is a serious matter, preventing one from leaving the country. I am troubled that our government is unable to (or does not care to) perform a simple but important task in a timely fashion. But it gets worse.
I discovered that a "private" agency can get a passport in a day -- for a fee. That is corruption, pure and simple. The private agency does not know the secret way to fill out a form, nor does it have people standing in line holding a place just for its next customer. Quite to the contrary, the private agency has a connection (what kind, it is impossible to tell) which allows it to get a passport as fast as you happen to need it, for a sliding scale of fees. I paid to get my new passport back in a week, and that is when it was returned to me, but I noticed that it was actually issued the day after I left my old passport at the agency. Obviously, those with connections have no trouble getting a passport in the usual time.
Someone inside the government is selling the right to get a passport. It is no wonder that it takes six weeks to get a passport the "usual" way. If it took a day, no one would pay to get their passport faster!
Slowly but surely, the United States is becoming a corrupt third world country.