They don’t need to go that far, they could just make mining profitable. There’s absolutely no money in piracy in this game at all. The only thing of value are the bounties on the pirates, but there’s no motive for them to pirate because there’s little of value to take. So why are they pirating?
It’s not just a matter of immersion/sanity either. There’s no value in being a player pirating NPCs, despite there being mechanisms in the game to do so. It cuts off entire playstyles.
That is some of the low-hanging fruit that grinds my gears with this game. They went to great lengths to simulate the entire galaxy, but real basic fundamental stuff like that has remained senseless for years. They did the hard stuff, then proceed to ignore all the easier stuff that would have a greater impact on most of the player base.
Like @scharmers said, they’re great engineers, just utterly clueless game designers.