Princeton University and Northwestern University researchers have concluded based upon analysis of 1,779 policy issues that the U.S. is in reality an oligarchy and not a democracy, as often claimed.
An oligarchy is a political system in which a small elite determines all policies and makes any and all decisions. This elite can be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, or military control.
What makes the US into an oligarchy is that an individual American has a completely negligible effect on any decisions made by the US government, ergo said individual is completely at the whim of this elite. The destruction of the middle class in the US through economic policies is another indication of this.