i literally just watched that yesterday, but really, that would be the exact effect.
ok, the rebellion hired smugglers, the empire worked with the hutt crime empires and hired bounty hunters
as for the death star thing, Destroying 2 PLANETS!!! would also give out word and the rebellion would grow as people banded AGAINST the empire, because of their actions. as for Piracy, they stole the empires ships that would help free the enslaved species by taking OUT the empire.
as for increasing crime, that would have been because, instead of keeping order and fighting the rebels, the empire fought EACH OTHER, and then the NR swept in, taking planets, ships, resources, and starting to stamp out the crime lords.
1. As Grand Admiral Thrawn, Pealleon, and even Eli Vantro(from Cannon) have pointed out: They are NOT slaves rather Indenture servants, some are criminals, others are paying off debts, Others are sold in by others like their own families, or the Trandoshans.
2. The reason the Empire could not fully go after the hutts is because they would then be fighting both the rebels and the hutts. And the Empire has tried to destroy crime empires like the black sun, and the Zahn Consortium.
3. using the argument to steal to fight the Empire you are only hurting the galaxy. The more the rebels fight the tougher the Iron fist of the Empire has to be to keep people in order. Also at Halmad Wraith Squadron was robbing banks, High jacking gear and causing fear among the local population. Saying that I need to steal your ship because I want to fight the Empire is no excuse. attacking shipyards where people are just trying to work for money isn't justified.
4. It is unfair to call the Empire Terrorists since anyone can use fear tactics and intimidation to win wars and the are not labeled as terrorists such as:
Thrawn, Pealleon, Batman, The US government( In Vietnam they cause fears of using Vietnam weapons by putting bad bullets that blew u in peoples faces in enemy caches), The Allies in world war ll (especially with the Atomic bomb), The Black Lives Matter Movement, A military force , Etc.
5. The two planets they destroyed were mostly justified. One was full of harden criminals(Murders, Terrorists, rapists, Etc) they were really bad dudes, and the other was doing very illegal activity such as: Sell weapons, funding insurgent and terrorists groups, and internally inciting violence among others.
6. Well Duh I mean when the chain of command collapses in any empire their is always infighting. Take the collapse of the USSR, Roman Empire, Greek Empire, The Ottoman Empire, Etc. That is a problem that could happen in any government. And it is the Rebellions fault this happen. they could have take the Empire over from the inside through a coup or something like What the Emperor did.
7. look at the transition of power between the the Republic to the Empire and compare it to the Empire to the NR. In the NR transition led to huge civil wars, chaos in the galaxy for over 25 years and it continue beyond that.
8. Bounty hunters are not that bad since they know the underworld and know hoe to find people. Would you rather send a imperial officer to find a major criminal or someone like Boba Fett, or Dengar who know who to talk to and how to find said criminal?
9. The Empire Tyrannical? Yes. Oppressive? Yeah. Terrorists? No.