I disagree with many things in this thread.
*More victory conditions means more victory conditions to balance the game around, making overall balance more difficult. KISS.
*Offworld trading is fine. It represents the end-game. If a player manages to get to that point, they deserve to have a strong chance at winning.
The goon squad hard counter isnt much fun to play against, but then again, people havent been buying it much in the games I play, so its cheap. If the squad were to cost ~40k by the time the first offworld came up, that would change things up in a big way.
I believe that much of the reason for people easily teching up to 5 is due to a severely underused black market. Part of the reason is because the game is new. Part of the reason is because its kinda awkward to use, because players usually dont have 3k floating around.
An Auto-Liquidate option would be interesting - it would basically sell off your most valuable, positive production, resources in order to purchase the black market item (a little tooltip display above would inform you of what was being sold)
The goon squad covering three tiles for production buildings, rather than one would be an interesting change. It would still only cover one square if you chose to use it on an offworld, patent offices, and other special buildings. The increased utility would mean it would be bought more often, thereby driving up the price by the time offworld rolls round.