Re: Throwing the Ferengi out with the bath water?
In some respects, I think the original goal with the Ferengi was to do what FASA did for the Orions - have a culture that opposes a lot of the morals and values of our Federation heroes, and nonetheless gets away with it because they can call it "trading" or "business" and attract a lot of support from groups or races that might actually prefer them as potential allies over the Feds. The Federation banned Orion slavery in areas where it directly controlled or did business, but outside the borders there was little it could do. The Orions had enough economic advantages that on one occasion during the Four Years War (Feds vs Klingons), they were able to force both sides to refrain from hampering their "free trade" by threatening to withhold cargo that both factions considered too valuable to lose. FASA's proposed TNG era would have been a significant change since they intended the Klingons to join the Federation, and they were the Orions' biggest ally on many occasions before.
One day soon, man is going to be able to harness incredible energies, energies that could ultimately hurl us to other worlds in... some sort of spaceship.