Coming from generations of a family that believed in firm discipline, this is not only an accepted form of punishment, it should be expected. My mother and her siblings were very much disciplined growing up. They knew what was expected and the consequences if they didn't oblige. My father spanked me when I deserved it, and I sometimes got it when I didn't. End result - nobody in our family ever got in trouble with the law and our names never ended up in the paper in the police report. It is all about respect - knowing right from wrong, good from bad - and having boundaries.
I am not a parent, but I work with young people and they WANT boundaries and they want to know what they did is right or wrong. When I was in school and I heard an administrator in the hallway fostering discipline with a paddle on a peer, believe me, everyone in the classroom got to attention real quick. NOBODY wanted to be the next one to be paddled.
There is a difference between discipline and abuse. If you send a child to her or her room, what do they do - play on the computer, their cell phone, play video games? C'mon people. We're losing our kids because they don't know what discipline and tough love is. RESPECT is the bottom line. Get it and give it. In that order.