I understand you don't agree with it, but I don't think it goes as far as bad game design, just not the direction you agree with. I can see the direction they're going, and I definitely think they aren't done looking at the way stolen cargo works. The system works, and it does add not only risk, but risk of loss, which up until now, was only by ship destruction for pilots.
Traders lose profit in the form of lost goods to pirates. Pirates can now lose this free profit (Ignoring the costs on non-submitted interdictions) by being caught with the cargo. Pirate profit isn't as terrible as people keep trying to say it is. And they have only been making trading more and more dangerous (which I agree with 100%. Trading in FFE was brutal except for one, semi-profitable route), so they are trying to balance things.
The main issue is people keep thinking that they are trying to balance things up to trading, but let's take a look at where profits average.
Exploration: Reported at anywhere between 200 and 500K per hour depending on efficiency vs completionist.
Bounty Hunting: 300-500K per hour when done legitimately. Exploits exist but are fixed in 1.2.
Mining: 300-600K per hour. Profits can be dropped by inefficient mining methods or pirates.
Piracy: <100K - >500K per hour. Most variable profession by far, although some scores can pay big. Pirating rares and players can be more effective.
Trading: 1MM-5MM per hour past Cobra. The highest paying profession by far, with the lowest current risk. Increases in NPC interdiction rates, increased danger in low security zones in 1.2, Pirate wings, and better networking have increased the risk a bit, but still very profitable.
I honestly believe the sweet spot for them was around 500K per hour. A respectable income, but yes, it will take time to get into the bigger ships. Just like it took time to get into the bigger ships in FFE without Butler. As well, without traders, pirates would be limited to NPC piracy. So people need a bit of an incentive to give you a target.
Again, I highly doubt they are finished looking at stolen goods, but the mechanics make sense. No one likes a perceived nerf of their favorite class in any game. But we have to learn to roll with the punches, because braying like a horny llama isn't going to get us anywhere. Instead, we can use the brainpower to find ways around it. For instance, having one pirate fly a hauler and be the mule. When you get to the station, the mule hangs back while the pirates distract the security. Mule docks, gets paid, the wing gets a 5% bonus, and the mule buys legit cargo to abandon at the nearby moon for the muscle to pick up and sell legit, equal to their share. (Until credit transfers get put in, if ever.)
Don't bitch. Think. Figure out a way to work the system to your advantage, or, at a minimum, work with the system.